Sunday, June 15, 2014

our dads

It's the day to celebrate our dad's!!  I am incredibly lucky to have three dad's in my life; the first one has been there since day one, the second one I met when I was eight years old and the third when I was 18. They all teach Taylor and I how to live happy and successful lives.  
Get to know my three dad's! :)

Dad #1:  Stuart Jones
The first word that comes to mind when I think of my dad is FUNNY.  One of my favorite things seeing growing up was how much my dad could make my grandma laugh.  She would be cracking up laughing, hit her leg and say, "Oh, Stuart!!!" He loves getting outside with the family and having fun! I'm pretty sure he was born to just meet everyone he can and be their best friend; he is the most welcoming and friendly guy.  My dad has an incredibly amount of empathy for others and really cares about what they're going through.  During one of the toughest times for me last year, he stayed on the phone with me for five hours (I think it was 5am his time at the end) and basically told me stories and quotes to motivate me to get back on my feet.  He has always gone of out of his way to be an amazing dad although we haven't lived in the same state since I was three years old. We're a lot alike and we've definitely become the best of friends throughout the years. He's an incredible father, mentor and friend.  I love you, Dad! 

Stu leading us in a biking workout.  He gets SO pumped when he has his jams on!

St. George LDS Temple :) 
Sedona 2013  My dad LOVES Sedona trips!

Cedar Mountain 2011


Dad #2: Dave Bennett
Dave married my mom when I was 10 and completely changed our lives! He is passionate, funny and an amazing dad.  He's selfless and always puts others before himself. Dave always greets people with a big hug, even if you haven't seen each other in a long time or just met!  He has a full schedule being an ER doctor, dad to 5 kids, on a hockey league and a tennis team, but you wouldn't notice because of the time he sets aside to spend with his family. One of the funniest things about Dave is that he is always prepared for anything! Even on a vacation he will carry around a huge backpack of supplies for anything that could go wrong.  Hurt yourself or feeling sick while walking around downtown Pittsburgh? Dave has a solution for that (real example from two years ago hahaha). Also, he is always taking pictures and videos.  iPhone, iPad, digital camera, etc. He is documenting the moment, don't you worry. He's smart, loving and would rather be at home with his family than on a vacation.  That is a winner. You do so much for our family and we love you, Dave! 

Dave & his girls!  
July 2002- Dancing at Dave and my mom's wedding reception. 
January 2014- Dancing at my wedding reception! 

Dad #3: Rob Haws
Rob would literally do anything for his kids and has set an example for his boys on how to be an awesome dad. He works hard to provide for his kids, but never takes his work home with him.  He teaches them to be frugal, humble and responsible adults. The more I get to know Rob, the more I realize how similar him and Taylor are.  They have similar habits, say similar lines and have the same sense of humor. He's taught Taylor how to treat his wife and enjoy life! Rob loves taking trips to San Diego, playing FIFA with the boys and playing tennis. He's our go-to for advice with finances, stocks, taxes and anything else we're trying to figure out that he's already mastered! He's patient, kind and loving.  I'm lucky and grateful to have him as my father-in-law. 
El Striker Grande!! 

Rob & Baby Taylor! 

My personal favorite. Sooo funny!
Boston LDS Temple
Three of my favorite people! Ralph, Taylor & Rob Haws
January 2014


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

wedding - part 2

     After all the fun at the Mesa Temple, everyone went over to The Wright House. We took pictures with all the extended families, had the luncheon, ring ceremony and later the reception. It was a packed day and a lot of fun!  While we did all the big family photos, we had Italian soda's and our families and friends socialized outside.  Getting big families and lots of kids to gather and take pictures is a lot more complex than I had anticipated. Taylor and I were the only ones that really knew everyone there (with all four sides of our families together), so I instantly became the one hollering at different family members to hurry up, move over, etc. Good times, good times haha! The pictures that we have with each side of both of our extended families are priceless to me.  How often does everyone gather together to celebrate us?  It was pretty dang cool!

Grandma & Grandpa Haws!

Homer family!

     Our luncheon was an hour full of laughs, happy tears and embarrassing pictures! Each table had pictures of Taylor and I growing up, some of which did not pass the Lexi-Approval.  (I think we stuck my seventh grade cross country picture in Jenn's purse?) We were able to have our best friends speak (Staci Connolly for me and Tanner Carlock for Taylor), which was awesome. Staci gave Taylor some tips on living with me (we were roommates) and Tanner spoke about how Taylor taught him to love others on their mission in Uruguay.  Staci's made me crack up laughing and Tanner's made us both tear up.

     Our parents spoke as well.  They have us some marriage tips, told stories about each of us growing up and again, made us laugh and cry.  My dad's portion was hilarious! That man was born for public speaking. He said that while he was thinking of what to say and how to describe his daughter, everything he thought of started with an F.  Therefore, he talked about "The Seven F's of Lexi Jones".
His delivery was hilarious, but here's a quick summary:
1. Fun: Lex loves to have fun and wants others to as well! She is a magnet for fun!
2. Freaky memory:  She will always remember when she did something, what she wore, when your birthday is, etc. It freaks me out!
3. Photography (doesn't start with an F, but it should): She loves taking pictures and will document your life.  Not only your life, but everyone else's around her.
4. Family: She keeps our family connected.  She loves gathering everyone together.
5. Faithful:  She is the most faithful sister, friend, etc.
6. Friend: She really is a friend to everyone and she will keep in touch with them.
7. Frugal:  My daughter is cheap. I don't know where she got it, but she has always saved all of her money since she was a kid.  Her favorite store is the Goodwill.

We also had a slideshow for everyone to view.  I threw it on youtube for my grandparents who couldn't come to AZ.  Enjoy!   Watch our picture slideshow here :) 

Ring Ceremony:
     Having a ring ceremony was important to us because I have a lot of family who are not LDS.  We had our parents and siblings (we used all of our siblings as bridesmaids/groomsmen) walk down the aisle before us.  My 9 year old sister insisted that we needed a flower girl, so she walked down before Taylor and I did and dropped rose pedals. Everyone stood and Taylor and I walked down the aisle. Although we were already married, it was still a lot of fun to have ALL of our family there supporting us.  My uncle Jeff spoke about marriage and wedding rings, and then Gavin and Jenn spoke.  Then Taylor and I both said a little bit and sincerely thanked our family members for all they've done for us.  We have some incredible relatives. We then did our ring exchange! :) 

Our reception was a BLAST! 
-Mine & Taylor's first dance song was "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri
-We had an awesome dance party and I made sure we had a lot of Spanish songs to dance to hahaha!
-Sadie Tullis caught the bouquet and Abe Tullis caught the garter. Sibling power! So impressive.
-We didn't smash cake in each other's faces. 
-I was really sweaty from dancing! (TMI?) 
-We had a photobooth and the pictures absolutely crack me up! Kids are HILARIOUS. 
-We left with everyone holding sparklers and I later heard that some of my younger cousins were lighting napkins on fire with them.  Again, kids... so creative and funny. 
-It was surreal leaving everyone and thinking that our wedding day had gone by so quickly. 

Jessica Reed was our videographer and did an incredible job! Check out our wedding video here! 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

it was perfect

Beware: This post is going to be all about the start to our wedding day. AKA: The best day ever!

     The weeks leading up to our wedding were soooooo slow, but the day itself went incredible fast!  I can easily say it was the best day of my life.  I was surrounded by all of my extended family on my mom and dad's sides and all of Taylor's extended family as well.  The weather couldn't have been better (thank you, Phoenix "winters") and everything was set.  
     The night before the big day I spent some girl time with Jenn, Staci and Kaitlin.  We went out to dinner and then laughed and talked for hours! I didn't feel prepared about what to say to everyone at the ring ceremony, even though my plan was simply to thank everyone for coming, but Kaitlin seriously helped a sista out!  I don't know why I felt so much pressure, but it ended up being totally fine.  I was so grateful that Kaitlin could stay over and that we could catch up.  She has been has an amazing and consistent friend to me throughout the years.  
Kaitlin Rosser. Oh, how I love her! 

    Kaitlin and I got up around 7:30am and it felt like any other day.  We had tons of sleepovers together throughout the years and this felt like any other! I couldn't grasp the fact that I was getting married later that day; it's just a weird feeling! haha! Around 9am Hillary Fielding came over to do my hair and make up.  This girl knows what she's doing.. seriously.  She made me feel calm and gorgeous. Nothing was rushed; we just had fun chatting!

   At 11am Taylor came over with two of his best friends/mission comps who drove down from Utah to be with us (Carlock & Gormus- love you guys)! From there we were on our way to the Mesa LDS Temple to be sealed. Taylor and I were excited, but it didn't feel like we were going to be married in the next couple of hours; it just felt like we were driving around in Mesa. Haha!  Being in my wedding dress at the temple was fun though! Everyone instantly knows you're about to get married and that made it seem a bit more real. 
Driving to the temple!

     We were surrounded by our family members and best friends during the ceremony and it was perfect.  It was the most amazing feeling seeing everyone who traveled to see us and to feel their love and support.  I cry like a baby when everyone else gets married, but I only cried at the end when I hugged Jenn and Staci.  Those two have influenced me so much over the years and it meant a lot to me having them be by my side on my wedding day.  
    When we came out of the temple, everyone was outside cheering and I was blown away with how many family members were there! I hadn't seen everyone who had come into town until this point so there were a lot of hugs to go around. I almost died when I saw how gorgeous my sisters/bridesmaids looked!!  Those are some attractive ladies! Also, all of the flowers looked amazing.  Thank goodness for Megan Conway and her amazing work.

    We took a few family pictures at the temple before heading to The Wright House for the luncheon, ring ceremony and reception. 
Jones Family (Dad's side)
Greyson, Kennedy, Stu, Lex, Taylor, Michelle, Alex, Jenn

Bennett Family (Mom's side)
Anthony, Anna, Nancy, Lex, Taylor, Dave, Jenn

Haws Family
Gavin, Brandon, Karen, Lexi, Taylor, Rob, Kari
Those flowers... obsessed. be continued. 

Chirstmas is my favorite

     This past Christmas was really exciting for me! It was weeks away from my wedding, I had a break from work and I had time to pack and get ready to move in with my soon-to-be husband.  I had time to address all our invites and get anything wedding related checked off our list.  
     We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with my family in Peoria.  We had a nice dinner, played some family games and attempted to sing Christmas songs while Taylor played the piano.  We definitely love having a great pianist in the family to use the piano now! My family isn't too musically talented, so the singing didn't last too long!  Christmas morning started way too early (perks of having a child in the house) and I seriously wanted to strangle my little sister hahaha!  It was a fantastic morning with my family!
     Soon after, Taylor and I were driving to his parents house in Chandler when a car on the I-10 freeway next to us started going out of control and then spun across all of the lanes in front of us. Yup, we got in a car accident on Christmas. Woo! The crazy driver (who had kids in the backseat!!!)  fled the scene and we didn't have enough time to get their license.  We were grateful that we were both safe, but I felt so bad for Taylor's car! He had bought that car because he had been hit a couple years ago and his old car was totaled.  Sometimes bad things just happen. 
Haws brothers on Christmas day! 

     We had plans to spend the next few days in San Diego with Taylor's family, but after talking on the phone with my Grandma Jones later on Christmas, I knew I needed to get to Cedar City, UT as soon as I could to see her.  Her cancer had spread to her brain and lungs and I couldn't stop tearing up thinking that Thanksgiving could be the last time I would see her.  I think the car accident made me realize how precious our lives are and I was going to spend time with my grandma while I still could. 
This ended up being the last time I saw my Grandma Jones.  She passed away a month after this visit. 
     I'm lucky to have a guy by my side who will drive to Utah late at night with me instead of going on a fun vacation. I'm so grateful that we made that quick trip at the end of December and that I could spend time with my family.  Sometimes it stinks being the only ones who don't live in Utah, but I'm glad Taylor has the same love for family as I do. He's the best. :) 

I was able to see two of my favorite people while we were in Utah, so that made me a happy girl!
McKell, Lex & Alex

Well, life really is precious! Spend time with those you love. :) 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

engagement & other fun times!

       Getting engaged is a lot of fun and it comes with a lot of pressure! Suddenly everyone thinks you have your entire wedding planned and you get hit with questions everywhere you go. Stressful! Taylor and I ordered my ring together (he wanted to make sure I was getting exactly what I wanted) so I knew around the time it would be shipped. Our schedules were completely opposite at the time so I figured it would be happening late at night (he got home from work at 9:30pm), in the morning (I left for school at 8am) or on a Sunday.  I was wrong with each of these times hahaha.

       One night Taylor suggested we do breakfast together because we never see each other during the day.  My class the next morning didn't start until noon (perfect!) so I figured it would work out! We really only got to see each other at night for a few hours, so hanging out when the sun is up was definitely fine by me.  We went to Kiwanis Park in Tempe and just did our thannng. The park was completely empty, Taylor made some yummy food and we took some goofy pictures.  A few minutes later this random lady yelled to us, "Hey! Someone is taking pictures of you!"  and I was like, "Uhhh.. okay?"  and Taylor just kind of ignored her.

       At this point when I looked back at Taylor, he was on one knee. His eyes were full of tears and I definitely knew what was about to happen. He proposed, I freaked out (in a good way) and we were so excited!! Jenn was taking pictures (thank you to the random walking lady for providing the warning) and then she came out and gave us some post-engagement lovin'. We got engaged on September 18, 2013 and started planning our wedding for exactly 4 months from that date: January 18, 2014. 
The proposal. Kiwanis Park, September 18, 2013. 

Right after this I had to go to class, hold in my excitement and act like a normal person. Rough life!

Livin' up that engaged life, yo. 

November 1, 2013
"It's Friday and Staci's 21st birthday!! Tonight we went to dinner at Oregano's and to the Suns vs. Jazz game.  The Suns won! It was really fun to hang out with those two.  Ryder got into med school in San Antonio so they'll be leaving me next summer and moving to Texas! So sad! But I am SO happy for them. They're both incredible." 

Jones/Hunt girls with Grandma Bonnie.  
Alex threw me such a fun bridal show in Cedar over Thanksgiving break! Thanks, Alex!! 

Jones siblings!
Kennedy, Jenn, Greyson, Lex & Alex

Engagement Pictures:

November 24, 2013: "We got our engagement pictures back!! There are over 70 of them to pick from and we seriously love each one. They're all so different and artsy; I'm obsessed.  I'm positive that we chose the perfect photographer. Thank goodness for Nick Sorensen. We LOVE our pictures! 54 days!"            (For Nick's info:

Just some of our favorites. :)