Tuesday, December 16, 2014

holiday cheermeisters

This year I'm nominating Dan and I as the 2014 Holiday Cheermeisters. 
We have made sure almost every day of December has been filled with some type of festivity. 
Whether it be the Festival of Trees, decorating my mom's Christmas tree, Zoo Lights, making a gingerbread house, watching a Christmas movie, throwing our annual Decembirthday Party, going to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, or attending the Santa dinner at the Country Club it has been nothing but fun.
I have loved embracing the Christmas spirit and spending it with people I love.
Only nine days til Christmas and we still have two Christmas concerts, the Nutcracker, a trip to Bear Lake, and three or four more Christmas parties to go!
I plan to enjoy every minute of these next nine days.
I think the Who's of Whoville would be proud.

(kacey.ism 358)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

kacey's abc's of gratitude

I could truly go on and on about what I'm most thankful for this year. 2014 has been so good to me. Many prayers have been answered, many blessings have come my way, and surprises as sweet as honey have changed my life. 
I've come to learn that true happiness comes from expressing gratitude...gratitude to those around me who make my life wonderful and whom I love so much, and gratitude to my Heavenly Father because without Him I would have nothing.
So, without further ado, my ABCs of gratitude.
A- Apples
B- Books
C- Coloring books
D- Dan
E- Eternal families
F- Friends
G- Gospel
H- Heroes
I-   Ice
J-  Job
K- Kacey's Dance Academy
L- Lake Powell
M-Milestone moments
N- New adventures
O- Opportunities
P- Puzzles
Q- Quiet
R- Roommates
S- Sun Valley
T- Tennis
U- United States of America
V- Vacation
W- Waterskiing
X- eXamples
Y- Year 2014
Z- Zorro

(kacey.ism 357)

Friday, November 14, 2014

thoughts on happiness.

Last night when I was trying to fall asleep, all I could think was, "Thank you for the happiness, Heavenly Father".
I would consider myself to be a pretty happy person. I'm a glass half full, always walk toward the sunshine kind of girl. 
But lately, it's been the kind of happy that radiates through my fingers and toes and gives me butterflies every 5 minutes. 
It's a happiness that starts deep in my heart and yearns to be shared with everyone around me.
It's the kind of happiness that comes when you realize you haven't had a bad day in at least 100 days because the good more than outweighs the bad. 
It's the kind of happiness that I want everyone to experience. 
It's the kind of happiness that I see in those around me. It's contagious, it's simple, it's fulfilling, and it's wonderful.
I see those I love reveling in this happiness too, and that only makes me, you guessed it, even happier.
I just feel tremendously blessed. 
As I ponder on gratitude in this month of Thanksgiving, I am feeling most grateful for the precious gift that is true happiness.

(kacey.ism 356)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

All Hallow's Eve

While I wouldn't say Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year, this year managed to be a pretty good one. 
We kicked off the week with my family's annual pumpkin carving extravaganza (one of my favorite traditions of the season). I live for my mom's homemade white bean chili in pumpkin bread bowls and her pumpkin bundt cake. 
I love seeing my cute grandpa carve his simple jack-o-lantern every year, and everyone squish together to get at least one good family picture. 
I decided to carve an elephant, which isn't that surprising considering my obsession with them has reached new heights this year. What was surprising was that it actually turned out okay.

I told all my students to wear their Halloween costumes to dance class this week. 
That was a blast. They were wild and crazy, but so much fun. I love to see their imaginations take them to incredible places.

On Halloween I threw on my shark hoodie, Dan turned into my shark attack victim, Ann brought out my owl costume, and we headed to the party of the year. The place was packed. 
I saw every costume in the book. It only reminded me why this holiday is so odd. But, I guess we only have to embrace it one day a year, and I can handle that. 
We ended the night by watching Psycho in my backyard. Creepy, spooky, and oh so fun. 

See ya next year Hallow's Eve. 

(kacey.ism 355)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Summer's not dead in St. George

A couple weeks ago I went to St. George with Dan's family. 
I will never say no to a vacation, especially when 85 degree weather is involved and I'm surrounded by fun, wonderful people. Yes, please. 
It was a blast. 
We went boating, played tennis, visited a halloween themed farm, took a razor out on the sand dunes, and went rock climbing. 
Boating was a dream. Here I thought my waterskiing days were over til May, and Surprise! I got one last ski in for the year! 
Razoring through the sand dunes was hilarious. I've never done anything like that before, and I just laughed and laughed. We'd drive straight down the hills and turn around and drive straight back up them. There was the occasional moments where we would get stuck. But we all took a turn behind the wheel and just loved it. 
Rock climbing was a blast too. Dan has been trying to get me to climb for a while and I was a little nervous because I couldn't tell you the first thing about it. But I really loved it. 
It was challenging and tiring,  but really rewarding. I was just happy to make it to the top. 
Needless to say, I was a sad girl when we had to head back to reality. Hopefully, we'll be back soon for some more sun and fun. 

(kacey.ism 353)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A quarter of the way there.

Dear Birthday 25,
You truly were a magical day. 
You brought me beautiful weather in beautiful Sun Valley filled with heart stopping Autumn colors. 
You made sure (almost all) my favorite people were around me. 
You overwhelmed me with so much love and kindness from people near and far, I could have floated away on a cloud. 
My day was made over and over again and you reminded me how easy it is to make someone else's  day (something I plan on doing as often as possible).
You brought me some very special gifts and a few choruses of Happy Birthday.
You were so great I didn't want to fall asleep that night for fear it was all a dream. 
Alas, I woke up on October 6th smiling because it was real. 
I'm the luckiest 25 year old in the world. 


(kacey.ism 352)

Monday, September 29, 2014

Abby + Laird

On 9-26-14 the most beautiful bride in the world got married. 
After 9 long months of being engaged, Abby and Laird finally became Mr. & Mrs. Swensen. 
My heart could have burst with happiness when I saw them walk out of those temple doors. 
They were truly glowing. 
I have always known I am blessed beyond belief to have Abby in my life. She has a heart of gold and is a perfect example of someone who genuinely cares about everyone. She would do anything for someone she loves. 
So, to see her finally sealed to Laird, the love of her life, was just magical. 
The whole day was dreamy. The weather was perfect, and everything from the temple, to the ring ceremony, to the reception was just wonderful. 
I loved celebrating those lovebirds, and I loved doing it with a cute date, and my very best friends (come back soon, Cathay). 
Cheers to Lairby. You are so loved. 

(kacey.ism 352)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Kacey's Dance Academy

I used to close my eyes and dream of the studio I would have one day. 
It was a big room with twinkle lights, mirrors, a ballet barre, and the cutest little dancers.
I was there. I was glowing with happiness, and I never wanted to leave.

Well, I don't have to close my eyes to see this dream anymore. 
My dance studio has become a reality. I can't believe it. 
It hasn't quite sunk in that Kacey's Dance Academy will be filled with darling dancers in just a few days. 

If you're a dancer, come dance with me. If you know any dancers, send them my way. 
Check out www.saltlakecitydance.com for more info. 
Let's be dancing dreamers together. 

(kacey.isms 351)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Lake Hopping 101

In August I accidentally became a self-proclaimed "lake hopper". 

I spent a wonderful weekend in Lake Powell with my nearest and dearest friends. 
We've been doing this friend trip for 5+ years, and every year seems to be better than the last.
It's 4 days of laughing, reminiscing, surfing, playing games, skiing, teasing, tubing, trick skis, dance parties, and fun. 
I look forward to it all year, and am always so sad to see it go. 
All those Powell Pals make me so happy. There's no on else I would rather be hanging onto a tube for dear life with, or racing on trick skis with, or surfing in the USA with. 
Already less than a year until we'll be back on the lake. 

The spent the following weekend in Bear Lake in with Dan and his family.
I'm ashamed to say that although I have a cabin up there I've spent almost no time at all up there.
Dan's family are Bear Lake pros so they showed me a really great time. 
We waterskied, sailed, flew kites, went on a tandem bike ride, relaxed, stargazed, and played games.
I had the best time (even in the cold water)!
I hope I get back there soon. 

(kacey.ism 350)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friends til the end.

I have five dear friends that I can't imagine my life without, because I've never known a life without them.
Their names are David, Max, Jeff, Catherine, and Sadie. 
They have been a crucial piece of the puzzle that is my life for over twenty years.
Twenty years!
A group of friends does not typically stay best friends for twenty years. 
But we did. 
Last week Max got married. The second of the group (Cath kicked it off),  but the first of the boys.
The six of us were reunited for the first time in a while. Cath flew in from NYC, Jeff came from California, and David flew in from Seattle. 
It was the happiest day. I truly treasure moments in life when my heart is bursting with happiness for someone I care about. Max's new bride, Laura is perfect for him in every way. They were just glowing and I love them so much. 
I practically demanded the photographer to capture that first photo above. And I'm going to treasure it always. 
I just love those five faces so much. They probably have no idea how grateful I am to each of them for standing by me and supporting me since I was three years old. I hope I've done a fraction for them of what they've done for me. 
I'm pretty sure that if we've not only managed, but made it a priority to stay in each other's lives for this long, we'll have many more moments to come. 
And once again, my heart is happy. 

(kacey.ism 349)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

kid island, lake powell

Hello, favorite trip of the summer thus far,
You're lacking in photos, but you definitely weren't lacking in fun. 
Lake Powell never disappoints, but this trip really just hit it out of the park. 
We took down the Claflin family (Carli's in-laws) and I just adore them. They wanted to try everything, do everything, and just soak up every minute. And bonus, they also have pretty cute kids.
That being said, we surfed, ski skied, waterskied, played games, swam, went on a boat ride, staked out on "Kid Island, had a friendly trick ski competition (Dan and I won), and just had fun. 
I was smiling from sun up to sun down. 
Put me on a boat at 6am for a morning ski with some tunes and I'm happy. 
Put me on a boat, in Lake Powell, with great people, and I could die and go to heaven.
It definitely tops the charts as far as Powell trips go. 

(kacey.ism 348)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

the 4th in our small town.

Sun Valley has quickly become our destination for the 4th. 
I love everything about that little valley on the 4th. 
A small town, full of happy people, tucked up in the mountains is the perfect place to celebrate America's freedom. 
I think it is inherent in Americans to love the simplicity of  small towns, simple living, easy pleasures, and happy dispositions. And Sun Valley provides all of that and more. 

This year was, as always, the best year yet. Leaving the dry 100 degree heat of SLC, for sunny, pleasant 80 degree Sun Valley was the first step to the perfect weekend. 
When we pulled into our drive my mom had not one, not two, but 24 American flags strewn about my house. Step two to a perfect American weekend. 
And step three to making it a truly great Schneider American weekend was to do all our favorite things. Which we did. We did them all.

On Friday we took the dogs on a walk, we scootered our hearts out, we flew (or at least attempted to fly) my dad's new remote control plane, I read Harry Potter in my backyard, we watched a lot of Wimbledon, and ended the night with Mexican Train. 
On the blessed 4th of July, a day I love more than my own birthday, we threw on every ounce of freedom gear we own and paraded through the streets. I lived out my dream of scootering down the street with an American flag tied around my neck like some sort of Freedom hero. 
We also played tennis, played volleyball, had a BBQ, and went to the famous Sun Valley ice show and ended the night with fireworks. 
Oh, America, how I love you. 

The rest of the weekend was filled with a 40 mile bike ride, more reading, more scootering, a Beatles concert (ok, well Beatles impersonators), an anxiety attack as I pleaded with Federer to win Wimbledon on Sunday morning (he did not), more walks with the dogs, and just enjoying that small town I love so much with my dear, wonderful, hilarious family. 

I'm already counting down until July 4th, 2015, Sun Valley. Thanks for making it so wonderful.

(kacey.ism 347)