Thursday, October 25, 2012

Until We Meet Again

It's been a while since my last update! But we have a new addition to the Cluff family! 
May I present to you....

Avery Lynn Cluff
Our cutest new addition!

So last week my family and I took a little trip to the good ol' Oklahoma!
We had been wanting to visit there for sooo long, because let's be honest, who wouldn't want to take a vacation there?

Ok just kidding! 

It wasn't so much a vacation, but more of a trip across country to see my brother graduate from Army basic training! After 10 1/2 weeks Kyle finally finished basic training, and us as a family wanted to celebrate this amazing accomplishment with him! But mostly we were going there so Kyle could finally meet his sweet baby girl. Yes you heard me right, until last week Kyle had not met his daughter. Chelsea has been so strong since he has been gone. She delivered Avery without Kyle, which was extremely hard for the both of them. I couldn't imagine doing that. 

So last Wednesday we all packed up and headed to Oklahoma. This was Avery's first trip and first plane ride, and she did amazing (aside from having her first blowout on the airplane....oops.)

Thursday morning we got up early to go see Kyle! Thursday was family day for all the soldiers. It started off with a demonstration of all the things they had learned and accomplished while at basic training. It was cool to be able to see what they had been doing. I couldn't imagine doing that...those guys are so tough! 

Chelsea had the cutest onesie made for Avery for her big debut! 
 "I'm here to meet my daddy for the first time"
The onesie alone brought tears to my eyes. 

So we were not aloud contact with Kyle before the demonstration, although we saw him outside the auditorium. 

So after that was finished we all rushed out to find our soldier! 
So with camera on and ready we searched and searched for Kyle. 
The anticipation was so intense...I can only imagine how Chelsea felt. 

As soon as we saw him the tears started flowing...
The overwhelming joy and happiness to see my brother after 2 1/2 months. 

To see his face light up when he saw Chelsea and Avery is a moment I will never forget. 
I am so glad I was able to capture this moment.
A moment I don't think Kyle, Chelsea, and our family will ever forget. 
I get emotional even now just looking back at that and recalling how I felt. 


I don't think Kyle took his hands or eyes off this girl the entire time we were there. 

We tried to take some family pictures while we were all together, seeing that honestly it unsure when we as a family will all be together again. So excuse the wind blow hair...and the sun in the eyes. 

It's the best we could do at the time. 

After spending all of Thursday together we had to say goodnight to Kyle and send him back to the barracks to spend the night. He wasn't graduated he still belonged to the Army, and had to spend the night in the barracks and not with Chelsea. 

So Friday we woke up early again to head to his graduation. 
This is such a huge accomplishment for Kyle and I couldn't be happier for him.
He has worked so hard to get where he is today.
I truly felt so proud of him for everything he has accomplished.
Being a great husband.
Now a father.
A soldier.
My brother. 
I love him.

So on top of celebrating Kyle's graduation we also celebrated my 24TH BIRTHDAY!
Holy cow I am getting old! 
Although I had to share my birthday, I wouldn't have changed it! 
The only thing that could have made it better would have been to have Tony there with us.
(He's been traveling a lot for work and couldn't miss anymore school.)

I couldn't be more proud of the military background in my family. It has instilled a greater appreciation for this country and for those who fight for our freedoms. 

I am so extremely proud to say that my dad and now my brother are military men! 
I feel so lucky!

It was such a fun weekend to spend with my entire family celebrating something so exciting!
I love my family so much. 
Couldn't have asked for a better group of people to spend eternity with! 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Managing. Goodbyes.

Let's start by saying...I FINALLY FINISHED THE B.O.M.! I totally slacked this time and it took me about a month and a half to finish. Little did I know when I started the challenge that the next month would be totally crazy...

So about half way through July I was made the manager of the salon I work at, SportClips! 
I've been working there for about 3 1/2 years, and finally I'm the manager.
Being the manager is keeping me super busy but it has been great so far!

The last month or so has just been super busy and a little overwhelming. 
Small vaca's.

August fourth was a very bitter-sweet day for me.  My roommate for almost three years, Zandrea got married in Twin Falls Idaho, and I had the privilege of being her Maid of Honor. It truly was an honor for me seeing that she and I have been through a lot together and she has helped me through a lot of things. It was an absolute beautiful day and she looked absolutely stunning. I am so happy for her and her now husband Donnie. They are amazing together and compliment each other in all the right ways. I am just a little sad that she isn't my single girl anymore! 

Before heading to Idaho and while my dad was home for the short time he was, we finally had his retirement ceremony.  He served a good 32 years in the Army National Guard and it was only appropriate that he was thanked and honored for all of his hard and amazing work that he put in during those 32 years. 

I will admit I learned a lot of things about my dad that day. Nothing that surprised me, but things that I just never knew. I learned how respected my dad was, not that I didn't know that already, but the men that stood up and spoke about my dad had only the highest regard for him. They looked up to him and respected him. They enjoyed working with him, and had learned a lot of things from him. My dad was truly an inspiration and a mentor to a lot of men in the Utah National Guard.  He took each moment as a learning opportunity, and only wanted the best for others. He put doing what was right before doing what might have been easier, and I think that is amazing. He was never concerned about what people thought about him, he made decisions based upon what he knew needed to be done, and what he knew was right. I can guarantee that the men that had the privilege of working with my amazing father, have had their lives changed because of him. 

I am extremely grateful for my father. He has taught me so many things that I will never forget. He has helped shape me to be the young woman that I am today, along with my amazing mother. I couldn't have asked for a better father, he is my hero. When I think of someone that I admire, respect, love, and look up to I always think of him, because he is all those things. If you have had the privilege of meeting him you will be able to agree. For the next couple years he will be in Afghanistan for 2 months at a time with a month home in between. It will be really hard to have him gone for those 2 months, but I look forward to the month that I get to spend my time with him.

I love you dad.

The day after I got home from Zandrea's wedding I had to say goodbye to my big brother.
Kyle joined the Army August 6.
It was a long time coming and a long process for him and I am so proud of his decision to follow my dad's footsteps and join the Army.  
He has been in basic training now for 3 weeks and after that will head to officer school and then him, Chelsea, and baby Avery will head to Alabama for flight school for the next couple years. 


As with my dad I could go on and on about how much I love my brother. He has always been there for me (even though we do a lot of "fighting" in between). He has always been someone I look up to and someone I know will always have my back. He is such a strong person and has had to go through some difficult things. I am so proud of the person he has become. He is an amazing husband to his beautiful wife, and as soon as baby Avery gets here I know he will be the most amazing father to that sweet girl. 

I love him with all my heart and I know he will be such a great soldier. I am so proud of his decision to do this, and cannot wait until I see him in October when he graduates from basic training. 

I can't say enough how grateful I am for my family. I have amazing parents that have taught me all the things that will help me get through life. They brought me up in the true Gospel and have raised me to know that living the Gospel is the only way to happiness. 

I have amazing siblings. A sister who is such a great example to me. With the two cutest kids I know. She is such a great mom to those sweet kids. I have a brother who is such a great person. Who is taking a huge step in his life, and will do it successfully. I am grateful for their spouses who fit them perfectly, and truly complete our family. 

Although our family might be splitting up and taking on different path and going different directions, I am so happy to know that I have strong enough connections with them that distance doesn't matter. And at the end of the day I am so extremely grateful that we are an eternal family. Our family togetherness doesn't end here on earth when we die, it continues on after this life. I know that we will spend eternity with each other, and some days that doesn't sound too fun, JUST KIDDING, but there are no other people I would rather spend my eternities with than them!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

I challenge you....again.

So exactly 6 months ago I finished my challenge to read/finish the Book of Mormon.  

But today I am taking on that challenge once again.
I was reading one of my favorite blogs that I follow, Mormon in Manhattan, and she put out this same challenge. And I just had the feeling that I really should do it. 
So. I'm going to try my hardest to read the entire Book of Mormon by July 31st.

These next couple months are going to be quite the change for me and also for my family. And I am feeling like I need some extra guidance and direction in my life. And really, just some comfort. And the best way I can think of, to receive those things (guidance, direction and comfort) is to re-center my life on what is most important. How better than to be reading a book entirely written to testify of my Savior Jesus Christ. 

The challenge:
8 Chapter/Day...
for 31 Days.

But what I have decided to differently this time is, I am using the little blue book version (as shown above).
I have decided to read this book with a purpose, to receive like I said guidance and direction. So before I start reading I am going to write down what I am really in need of, question I have that I would like answers to, things I am struggling with, etc. I know that during my reading my questions will be answered, my struggles will be lightened, and I will receive guidance in my life. And after finishing the book, I will write down how taking this challenge has affected my life. I encourage you to maybe do the same. Take this challenge not just because of me, but with a stronger purpose in mind. 

I am completely unaware of how many people actually read this blog. 
Or how many people actually care.
Or how many of you will take this challenge.

But to all of you that do, 
Whether you have read this book hundreds of times already, or if you've never even picked it up.
Take not only my challenge, but the challenge of so many others, 
And lets read the Book of Mormon in 31 days.

I can promise you that this book can:
Lift you up when feeling down,
Give you strength to take on the challenges this life brings,
Bring light into the darkness,
And bring hope.

But most importantly, this book WILL:
Testify of Jesus Christ.
And testify that you are a daughter or son of a Heavenly Father, who loves you..and knows you. 


Again...I would love to here of your experiences during this challenge. Feel free to share any insight you have, any struggles, and of course your accomplishments! Let's do this together!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dirty Dash to Vacation!

It's only the 17th of June and I feel like I have been so busy and have done so much. Unfortunately I feel like this summer is going to fly by. So we better enjoy it right?

**Disclaimer: If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you have most likely seen most of these pictures.**

June 2nd was a big day for me you guys....I ran (or should I say trudged? walked?) my first 5k! Kyle and I ran did the Dirty Dash! For those that don't know what that is, it's a 5k, but not your average 5k. There are obstacles such as rope ladders, walls to climb over and under, pipes to jump over, and tubes to shimmy through, but to complicate things a tad all of the obstacles are MUDDY!  It was a lot of fun! It wasn't as hard as I was expecting it to be, besides the first 1/3 of a mile that was uphill (death).  There were so many people, that at all of the obstacles we ended up having to wait, so it gave us time to catch our breath.  Kyle was so great...he stayed at my pace and even helped me over some of the walls that were too tall for me to get over! 

So here is the before and after! We might have gotten a little dirty...

After the Dirty Dash I packed my bags and headed to the big apple!!!!

My great friend Amelia (one of my first roommates) invited me to go visit NYC, Boston, and Cape Cod with her.  Her mother's friend Claudia lives in Boston and also has a house in the Cape, so she agreed to be our amazing tour guide! It truly was such a dream come true! It has always been a dream of mine to go to NYC and it was everything I had hoped for! We did a lot of walking, picture taking, celeb searching, but mostly just soaking in all the NYC-ness! I cannot until I get to go back.

We only stayed one night...but lucky us we stayed in Times Square! This was our view from our room! 
Absolutely incredible.
I felt as if I was in a dream most of the time!

Amelia and I with Mickey. 
Who knew he would be in NYC?!

Getting on the subway! I felt like a true New Yorker for about 5 minutes! 

Getting gelato in SOHO.

If you know me, you know I loooooooove me some Betsey Johnson!! 
I am so sad she is going out of business... :(

I am so grateful for Claudia! She took such good care of us and treated Amelia and I to a Broadway show! 
Although it was my third....yes third time seeing was phenomenal!! Words cannot express how amazing it was. I got chills so many times, and I was almost brought to tears it was so good. I could see it a hundred times more and never get bored. It really is such a great show!

 After the show Amelia and I split a NYC hot dog! And boy was it good! 

Me in Times Square!

The next day we headed to the World Trade Center Memorial. It was truly breath-taking. It is so serene and peaceful. There is such a different feeling when you are there. My heart still aches for those who were lost, and those who lost loved ones on that horrible day. Being in NYC I had multiple moments where I thought about what it would have been like to be in the city on 9/11. To be apart of the chaos and sadness. I cannot even fathom what it would have been like.

My collage of the memorial.  Left: the soon to be memorial and Freedom tower. Top right: The North Tower Pool and names engraved around the pool.  Bottom right: Amelia and I.

The pools are so amazing. There are two symbolizing the two towers. Both have all of the names of people who died in the towers, and also who died at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania. All of the names of those who were apart of fire departments, police squads, bomb squads, etc.  
After the 9/11 memorial we went and saw the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, 5 ave where all the ritzy shops and hotels are. While walking around the city, out of nowhere I saw this beauty! The Manhattan Temple! It was such a great feeling seeing a midst all of the hustle and bustle of the city, this beautiful house of the Lord! 

Well after only two day in the city we headed out to Cape Cod! After the craziness of the city it was nice to head out and relax for four days! We laid by the beach, went on bike rides, watched movies, and just relaxed! It was much needed and the best way to vacation.

Claudia's oh so cute house! 

Sunday we took the ferry over to Martha's Vineyard and enjoyed the day there! It is so cute there! The houses are adorable and the shops are so cute and quaint! 

Our last night in the Cape Claudia took us to Woods Hole for a nice farewell dinner! We then went to the cutest and nicest beach and enjoyed our last sunset in the Cape!  

I feel so lucky to have been able to take this trip. I am extremely grateful for my friendship with Amelia, and for Claudia's hospitality.  She was extremely generous for letting us come out and stay with her.  I cannot wait to go back hopefully sooner rather than later!

Monday, May 28, 2012

May Flowers and Family

May has been an exciting, busy, and fun filled month. It's been a great month and I'm excited to see what June brings!

Ethan played his last t-ball game! He was so excited to get his trophy!

Brynlee and Ethan wearing Papa's cowboy boots! So stinking cute!
Excuse the dazed and confused Brynlee....

Anyone enjoy the eclipse? 
Tony had the awesome idea to make this contraption so we could view the eclipse without burning our retinas! After poking various sizes of holes in the back of the box we were able to view the awesome eclipse on white paper we taped on the inside of the box.  I was a bit skeptical, but Tony is super smart and it worked like a charm! Such a cool thing our solar system!

I had my last date night with my girl Zandrea before she moves back to Idaho, and gets married in August.  We did our signature sushi date, and then watched the Bachelorette (anyone else obsessed with this show?! I can't help it.) I can't believe we have been friends for a little more than 3 years.  This girl has been with me through the best and worst! I sure do love her and am so stoked she is getting married, and I feel so lucky to be her maid of honor! Someone help me with my speech!!

I enjoyed some great food at Pei Wei with these cuties! 

And finally...

Memorial Day was a great end to a great month.

Tony and I started our day early by going to the Natural History Museum up by the U. It was really cool and there was a lot to see. We are thinking we want to take Ethan and Brynlee back, there is a lot for little kids to do and play with. 

My favorite part was the dinosaurs! I cannot even fathom these creatures roaming around. I can't decide if I'm lucky or if I missed out because they are extinct. 

We spend the rest of our day with my family.  We had a great BBQ.  Played some awesome (or pathetic) baseball. And then Tony and I played a little tennis...until our bodies decided they had had enough! And then Tony was lucky enough to watch tonight's episode of the Bachelorette with my parents and I! Isn't he so great!? 

I'm looking forward to this summer, and all the fun things it brings. 

Don't worry...I go to New York City and Boston in ONE WEEK! I cannot wait!!! It is going to be amazing! Truly a dream come true (I'm lame I know)!!

Huddle Up!

I'm a slacker I know!
But don't worry I have a lot to catch up on but I don't want to bore you, so I will break it up into a couple different posts! 

A couple weeks ago I was lucky enough to be able to go to Orlando for "work".  Every year SportClips has a national convention/conference for management, owners, coaches, etc. and my owner decided to take me! It was such a great opportunity, and I really am grateful to have had the chance to go and learn what I did.

We decided ahead of time that we wanted to have a little fun while we were out there so we went out a couple days early to go to Universal Studios! It was so fun, and although I am not a Harry Potter fanatic, I was super stoked to go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! 

I cannot lie, the Harry Potter part was SO SO cool! It was so well done and designed that I truly felt like I had gotten on the Hogwarts Express and headed to Hogwarts! SO COOL!   

This was best view of "Hogwarts" I could get without a billion other tourists in my picture.

Well after we enjoyed a little time to relax and catch up on my tan (pretty sure I got enough sun to last a while).  We had to get down to business.  The first night of "The Huddle", (fitting right?!) we had a vendor show.  It basically was a chance to talk to all the companies we work closely with...and a chance to buy stuff for work.

I bought myself a couple work shirts, and got to admire this beauty! Such a cool motorcycle and it was personalized for SportClips!

"Where it's good to be a guy!"

The next two days we had guest speakers who talked about being better managers and becoming more successful! The last day we had an amazing speaker, Robert Cromeans.  He works for Paul Mitchell, as their artistic director.  He is very eccentric, somewhat odd, but extremely inspiring.  It was really cool for him to speak to us because he is a stylist himself.  He knows about the business and he knows how to be successful (obvioiusly!!).  He came in knowing and had researched about SportClips.  He knew how we ran our business, what our business was all about, and how we work! It was so cool! He made me really proud to be a hairstylist! 

The last night we had a banquet with amazing food!! 
Steak and Chicken! 
There was also an awards ceremony for the stores that had the best #'s, brought in the most clients, made the most money, etc.  Unfortunately our Utah stores haven't reached award status yet...Soooo  EVERYONE TAKE YOUR HUSBANDS, BROTHERS, MALE COUSINS, NEIGHBORS, WHOEVER...TO YOUR NEAREST SPORTCLIPS! You will not regret it...I PROMISE!
We all got dressed up, (some more than would have thought it was prom) and enjoyed a nice night. 

This was our little group by our awesome pool! My owner and I, the owner and manager of the Lindon store, and the manager of the Bountiful store!

You would have thought we planned out our outfits because we all matched. It was cute! 

Unfortunately this rose wasn't from Tony. Our area developer gave all of us roses at the banquet! 

I had a great time in Florida and was excited to get back to work and implement some of the amazing things I learned while at "The Huddle".

Stay tuned....more to come!