Monday, November 27, 2017


Would it truly be November if I didn't dedicate a blog post to all things for which I'm thankful? Probably not. Would it truly be November if returning to work today after the Thanksgiving break wasn't completely rough + me being in dire need of a large diet Dr. Pepper? Probably not. Also, would it truly be in Shayli fashion for me to blog about what I'm thankful for after Thanksgiving? Probably definitely YES. So, here we go with another thankful post! It may be late, but I'm definitely still thankful.
BUT FIRST: A picture of Chris holding a baby, because it makes my heart melt and uterus skip a beat all at once. That is all.

... I guess Chris and baby Averi can start at the top of my thankful list.

Other people/things I'm thankful for in no particular order:

- My family. Especially my mom's side of the family that brings more food to Thanksgiving dinner than anyone knows what to do with. So much veggies + dip! So many crackers and cheeseballs! So much happiness.

- My in-laws. But if you read my last post than you already knew that! + When Tom G has a birthday and has an adult only dinner/game night! + When Chris wins the quarters game so we can have a new Swig fund.

- Speaking of Swig fund... I am always thankful for diet Dr. Pepper. Cranberry Sprite Zero is up there, too. 'Tis the season! Actually, I'm pretty grateful for almost any caffeinated beverage these days.

-Friends. This pic sums that up perfectly... best friends wearing a Friends sweatshirt. If you don't understand our sweatshirts... are we even really friends!?? Also, a majority of my Thanksgiving break may or may not have been dedicated to Season 7 of Friends so. . .
-Also, let's take this time to appreciate that my phone automatically smooths my skin in pictures ^^ #thankful

-Christmas decorations. It's like putting up instant happiness! Although, Chris may not agree with that statement. I think he's still bitter that a majority of our gift cards from our wedding were dedicated to Christmas decor our first year of marriage.
- Lupin. Who gets his own stocking this Christmas ha (another thing Chris probably doesn't agree with). I'm mostly thankful for Lupin when he's not trying to rip the ribbon off of our Christmas tree or chew on my Santa hat.

- Naps.

- Black Friday... because I'm almost done with my Christmas shopping! I'd also like to add that I don't work retail anymore so I'm extra grateful to not work on Black Friday.

- Candy Cane Kisses. Always! Why were they so hard to find this year?!

- Work, but more so my amazing co-workers. Who else can you complain to about crazy students?!

- I guess I'm thankful for my students, too... most of them, anyway ;)

- Becca's Backlight Primer + Benefit Porefessional. Mama got some big pores that need to be filled. The combo of those two primers are truly a gamechanger.

- Fuzzy socks. Mostly when I'm sleeping in them.

- My primary class. Especially when they tell me things like "Sister Gourley your hair looks weird." Way to keep me humble, kids.

- The Gospel and all the hope and happiness it brings to my life.

- Jett and Graham! Reminding me to remember what truly is important in life.

Annnd I need to mention that I'm grateful for Chris one more time! Especially because he agreed to stop at the store to grab shredded cheese on his way home from work + he stepped on the scale after this weekend and suggested we go on a cleanse + he sent a picture of him eating salad for lunch today. He is my favorite.

 photo postsignature.jpg-

Monday, November 20, 2017

the day my heart grew three sizes more

The Gourley gang got together this last Saturday to do a service project in honor of our Gourley angel babies Lilly, Ryker, Graham and Jett. As grateful as I am for our angels, my heart can't help but sink at the fact that I just had to type four names following the words 'angel babies'. That's about four too many angels than anyone needs... ugh!

Anyway, the gang got together to put together baby kits to donate to the North Temple Clinic in Salt Lake. We ended up making 24 kits + extra items to donate! Hands down the best part was watching my nieces and nephews all help put them together. My grinch heart definitely grew three sizes that day -- all the feels were definitely felt! I love my Gourley gang! Our gang definitely has it's quirks (what family doesn't?!), but I just can't help but be sooo grateful I lucked out in the in-law department! You can always count on them to come through and always be there when you need them (as we've experienced so much over these last six months!). Gah, my heart might be growing even more as I type all this, so I better just leave a picture dump of all the photos I took that morning...

...annnd now I'm crying again. It probably didn't help that me and Chris dropped the kits off at the clinic today, either. 
This is the clinic that Chris used to work at. I remember Chris always coming home and telling me about the patients that would come in that hardly spoke any english, had no money or insurance, and a lot of times were homeless. When we dropped off the kits the ladies at the front desk were so happy and excited and said those kits would be gone soon for sure. Made my heart burst! 

I can't think of a better way to celebrate Graham and Jett + kick off the holiday season than this service project... I am SO ready for Thanksgiving this week! It feels so good to serve + remember that the world doesn't just revolve around me + realize everyone has their own trials. I hope a Gourley gang service project becomes an annual tradition and that I'll be better prepared next year with more tissues. 

Saturday, November 11, 2017


I'm sure I sound like a broken record, but every November 9th that comes and goes makes me say, "I can't believe we're on year __!" Which, if we're filling in the blank... it's year 5! What?! F I V E.

All week leading up to our anniversary, Chris kept asking, "So.... what are your expectations for our anniversary this year?" HA! I guess that's a good sign that it's year 5? Or maybe it's the fact that I said my only expectation is that you take me somewhere good to eat? Thank goodness we had a gift card to Cheesecake Factory. . . the fried macaroni cheese exceeded my (obviously) high expectations!

Other than the Cheesecake Factory, our anniversary day was pretty chill, and by chill I mean that we woke up to a call from Home Depot at 7am letting us know that our new dryer was on the way (being stoked for a new dryer is also clearly a sign it's year 5 right?). After Chris spent a good chunk of the morning installing the new dryer, we went to go get some old fashioned donuts from Lehi Bakery (Chris' faaaaav) and came back out to our car to find the back tire flat. Womp womp. I'm wondering if that was some sort of bad omen for the events that would soon follow?

We pulled into Wal-Mart to get our tires fixed and 30 minutes later we found out that THAT Wal-Mart didn't have the tires we needed, so we'd have to drive to a different location. No problem. That meant we had to drive past Swig anyway + I had a free drink I had been saving for such a special occasion such as our anniversary. So, we waited in the surprisingly short Swig line and got up to the window when I was about to excitedly tell the Swig lady I was ready for my FREE 44oz Triple D, when Chris suddenly cut in and said, "I have a confession to make. . . I used your free drink last time I was here."


After Chris' confession I considered cancelling our anniversary. Ha! Did he not learn anything when he spent my Ulta points?! Never, and I mean NEVER use any points I've earned without my consent. Of course, this is year 5 of marriage, so Chris just laughed at my stunned face. He's such a rat. Luckily, Chris did make up for it by surprising me with a 1/2 pound bean and cheese burrito (bold style!) while I was getting ready for the day. Luckily.

Obviously, next year I'm gonna raise my expectations a little higher than just a nice dinner for the annivesary ;) But I guess I can't be too upset with Chris, since he actually wore jeans for our annivesary + was a good sport about taking our traditional picture, like always.
In all seriousness though, this is the part of the post where I have to get all mushy gush about Chris + our marriage. I think years 1- 3, I took being married to Chris for granted. I mean, I was happy + always felt like Chris was perfect for me, but after these last couple of years going through the trials we have, I now know that he is perfect for me! To know Chris is to love him, and I happen to know Chris very, very well. What can I say... some girls just have all the luck!

And in honor of it being our 5th year anniversary, here's a top 5 list of things I love about Christopher Gourley:

- He makes our marriage fun
- He is always positive and optimisic
- He calls me out on things I need to work on + is not afraid to put me back in my place
- His humor (even if I'm not always willing to admit that he is the funny one in our relationship)
- He let me keep our cat Lupin... JUST KIDDING (even though I do love that about him right now)
- He is always there for me no matter what and always knows exactly what to say or do to make things right

Annnd now it's time to get back to reality and remind Chris to pick up his socks and rinse his toothbrush completely. Because, year 5!

Cheers to 5 years!

 photo postsignature.jpg

Monday, November 6, 2017

so festive right now

I feel like I've been the worst self-proclaimed lover of all things Fall this year! I was thiiiiis close to letting my biggest Fall festivity be making pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Like, I haven't even worn dark lipstick or watched Hocus Pocus. . . who am I?!?! Thankfully, Chris saved the day when he suggested we go to Jaker's Jack-o-Lanterns! It was all cutesy and festive-y . . . even if we felt a little bit like creepers because we were the only ones without kids there. It's fine. We're fine. Also, what followed Jaker's was not festive, but definitely noteworthy: Mooyahs! (always)
Speaking of noteworthy festivitities.... The Gourley's had a Halloween Harry Potter party (kicking myself for not taking any pictures)! All my nerdiest dreams came true stepping through Platform 9 3/4, watching the kids be sorted into houses, and refereeing quidditch (which technically is still an ongoing game since nobody can find the snitch). I'm hoping Harry Potter becomes a tradition, because I've got so many ideas that my wizarding heart needs to execute! Yay, family! Yay, Harry Potter! Yay, chili dogs! 

And if having a Harry Potter Halloween party wasn't festive enough. . . 
My department decided to go all out and dress up for Halloween as trolls! Even though some of our students thought we were fairies (kids these days!). If you're thinking that my department is just silly and fun, it's only because we are silly and fun-- I just love them! Sister Wives for life! 

Okay, so maybe I do need to give my self-proclaimed lover of all things Fall heart more credit. . . October did turn out more festive than I realized, despite the fact that I'm still upset Chris didn't want to do the haunted lift ride at Sundance... ha! PLUS! It's still November! Plenty of time to still be festive + bust out my dark lipstick + CRANBERRY SPRITE ZERO. 

Freak, I love this time of year. 

 photo postsignature.jpg

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Missin' Our Punkin's

The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss . . . 
Every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude.
-Joseph B. Wirthlin

 photo postsignature.jpg

Friday, October 6, 2017

Tidbits of September

(this post has been sitting in my drafts box)

Hi! Hello! Remember when I took a break from blogging?

...Who am I kidding? Does anyone even read blogs anymore? Can we please just go back to 2012 when people had blogs, YouTubers actually did makeup tutorials, and I didn't feel the social pressure of needing to fill in my eyebrows yet ( biggest wedding regret)? Oh! And when my weight was significantly less?!

ANYWAY. Besides getting sidetracked per usual, I'm gonna need to do some September catch-up via phone dump... per usual. It blows my mind that we are already into October! September was such a strange month this year... the days felt long, but the month went by so fast! So many feels + mixed emotions + ah... I guess I should just make you keep reading? Duh.

So here we go!

Chicago// I got to go to Chicago for a few days with my parents + sister + Averi Shay! Our trip consisted of all the usual things that I love: food + shopping + family + more food! It also consisted of me wearing a Cub's hat that I've owned for 8 years and having to pretend that I'm a Cub's fan. The only disappointment of the trip would be discovering that the Hershey store was no more. Actually, a bigger disappointment might the fact that I was more willing to drop $30 on Ghirardelli's chocolate than on a shirt. But! Caramel Pumpkin Spice! Oh, Chicago... I already miss you, and your deep dish pizza.
Graham and Jett// I'd be lying if I said September wasn't a hard month in this regard. I don't think I was fully anticipating all the emotions the boys' due date would bring up, especially since we had never truly planned on them making it to their due date, but then September 6th came and it was like surprise! Ugly crying! Lots of it. I'm a little afraid of what emotions are going to come up during all the holidays this year (do we really have to go through another Christmas without a baby?!), but I know that we have the most amazing family members that will help us get through them all. Seriously, our families have been so amazing through everything and continue to be answers to our prayers daily. Our boys are so, so loved, and for that, we are grateful.
Birthday Explosion// Of course I've gotta blog about my birthday! How could I not after Chris pulled out all the stops and made it the best birthday yet? I'm talking food, pedicures (Chris even got one! He was a "vujin pedicue" according to our Asian nail lady ha!), family, movies... everything I love! Even if I had to remind him a few times that I was expecting big things since he was leaving me on my birthday to go hunting... ha! I'm the worst. I know. After this year I kind of always want Chris to always leave on my birthday ;) Some other noteworthy things about my birthday month: It's always 21 days of Beauty at Ulta during September! + a Sodalicious just opened up by my work... coincidence? I think not! Yay September! Yay for being a Libra! ... whatever that means.

Gone huntin'// Speaking of Chris going hunting... it wasn't just on my birthday. Almost any free time he's had this last month, he's gone scouting for elk with the fellas. Just going to look for elk, not shoot, in freezing cold weather, with not very good food is probably my worst nightmare... but whatever makes you happy, right babe?! Really though, Chris deserves it. He's so giddy whenever he gets back and I pretend to be super interested in elk bugling. I will say that I am grateful for elk hunting to be over soon, though...I'm not used to this hunting wife life!

I guess I should also mention that September consisted of way more football watching then I'd like. And by watching, I mean Chris watches while I fall asleep and wake up to BYU getting crushed. I have a feeling October is going to follow this same pattern...

 photo postsignature.jpg

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Meet Lupin

Blog world, meet Lupin! Aka Loopers, Loop, Lupinstein, etc. The kitty that was given to me against all of Chris' wishes while he was away in Canada back in June. Ha! Thanks, Shelbs and Haley! I'm pretty sure Chris will never leave the country again.

Fun fact: I've wanted a kitten ever since Chris and I got married. Other fun fact: Chris hates cats + is "allergic" + has always put the kabosh on letting me have one since we got married (Shelbs and Haley have a lot of guts).

Simply put: I love Lupin and Chris hates Lupin, but Chris loves me enough to let me keep Lupin for now. Actually, deep down (like deeeeeeeeeep deeeeeeeeeep down) I know that Chris loves him + I have plenty of pictures in my phone to remind Chris that he does.
Some Lupin loves:
sleeping outside our door
playing with a miniature Christmas stocking
hiding in the corner of our kitchen cabinets
nibbling on my ear (I know... I've reached full-blown crazy cat lady status)
my orange minky blanket
chicken and halibut but he's about 3 weeks clean now (please bless I can say no to my children better than I do Lupin)
climbing up on top of our kitchen table
killing flies in our windowsill
irritating Chris
aaannnnndd the occasional cookie left out on our countertop (did I mention Lupin irritates Chris?!?)

Now you know who I've been hangin' with all summer! I figured I better document Lupin while I still can. . . who knows how much longer Chris will really let me keep him. Because the more human food Lupin sneaks, the more Chris' patience wears thin.

 photo postsignature.jpg