Sunday, December 30, 2007

I cut my hair!!! and moved into our home!!!

I know this is random, but I cut 9 inches off!!! It is still to my shoulder and plenty long to pull up into a pony tail (a major requirement!) :) But it is SO curly now and a lot easier to take care of. I miss my long hair, but I like the change!! I'll get pictures up soon. Who even knows where my camera is?!?! My whole house is in boxes in the 2nd bedroom of our house!! We officially moved and slept in our new house for the first time last night! I'll post more on that later when I actually have pictures that don't consist of white walls and brown boxes.

Christmas Morning

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Kira, Aaron, and baby Emma. On Monday, Kira, my mom, and I spent a good part of the day making holiday goodies! We also, as tradition, have a really nice dinner on Christmas eve. Emma has started this new thing where she will just scowl out of no where. She'll be laughing one second, then just scowl the next! It is hilarious!!

Joey opening the gift that Mark bought him.
Joey trying on his new clothes!

Christmas at the Starr's House

Sunday night we celebrated Christmas at Mark's parents' home. All of the kids and their families came, and it was great to be around everyone. This picture is of Heather's kids. (Mark's older sister). From left to right (Paige, Mitchell, Nate, and Maddison)

Grandma Meyers!!!
Opening gifts!!

Johny B. Goods - Pocatello, Idaho

Saturday the whole family went to Johny B. Goods to grab lunch and milkshakes (they have the BEST milkshakes!) We had a really great time. Joey sat right next to me and was a hoot to watch. He took the cherry off of my milkshake and thought it was a sucker. He was using the stem as the bottom of the sucker and would just lick the cherry. It took him a really long time to figure out you could just bite it!!

Kait LOVES burgers!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Off to Idaho

Mark and I are leaving at 6:00 AM tomorrow to fly home to Idaho. We are so excited to see out family!! I don't have any pictures of Mark's family here at work with me, so I will have to make another one later, but here are a few pictures of my family!! Kaitlin's head got cut off on the top picuture, but hey! It is attached on the bottom picture! :)

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!! I know we are looking forward to it!!! I can't wait to hear everyone's stories!

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Pulte Homes Holiday Party

Last Friday Mark and I drove up to Scottsdale for my work Holiday party! It was a lot of fun. I was finally able to introduce Mark to several of my co-workers, so that was exciting!!!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

We bought a new home!!

We finally did it! We bought a house!! We're quite excited about it, although we are surely going to miss our ward and our neighbors. But, there is always good that comes from change!!! The house closes December 27th - so it is going to be crazy trying to pack and get everything ready before our trip to Idaho!!

Thanksgiving.....a little late!

So on Thanksgiving day we were invited to go over to our friends, the Baxter's, for a wonderful feast! (Jenn is a great cook!) while we were over there, we made sugar cookies! I haven't make sugar cookies in years! I can say that I have never succeeded at making any that were edible, so I was a little nervous, but I found a new recipe so we tried it! :)

Mike and Jenn

Andy decorating!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I've Been Tagged!! (By Kimberly!!)

I've been tagged to write six things that most people don't know about me and that I haven't blogged about before. Here we go:

1. My dad is from Lebanon (most people already know that..) But!! Once, when I was pretty young) he was given a can of chick peas (the label was in Arabic) and told my sister Kira and I that they were goat eyes, and that everyone in Lebanon eats them....well, he "forgot" to tell us he was kidding, and we took that can everywhere to show how cool a can of goat eyes looked!! Ya, we even took it for show-and-tell. It wasn't until about 2 or 3 years ago when Kira and I were reminiscing about that can, that my dad was like, "You believed me? I thought you knew I was kidding!!"

2. I have para-sailed in the Bahamas.

3. I was in competitive drumlines since 8th grade! And was drum line captain my junior and senior years.

4. I lived in Japan for a little while as part of a sister-city/exchange program.

5. I had a pet flying squirrel, ROXY, all during high school. She was nocturnal, so sometimes I would even take her to school with me. She would just sleep in the front pocket of my back pack. However, they do make a barking sound - and the only time she ever made a peep was during my calc final my senior year and she was "barking" like do you explain that!?!?!?

6. I can only wink with my left eye!!!!!! **wink, wink**

Now I tag six people: Heather B, Dez, Drea, Adria, and Hillary W., Kayla W.

1. The player lists 6 facts/habits about themselves - try to find 6 you haven't already posted about.2. At the end of the post, the player tags 6 people and posts their names, and then goes to their blog and leaves them a comment, letting them know they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog for the rules.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Things I am THANKFUL for: I could go on, and on, but here are a few:

1) Religion - everything I am, believe, and want to become all stems from that beautiful knowledge.

2) My wonderful husband. He is a constant reminder to me of how great my life truly is. He takes such good care of me, and is the best example to me. We're going on 14 years of being friends, a little over 2 years being married, and I look forward to the future we have together!!

3) My family. I can't even say enough. I have the best families. I married into a great one, and can't be torn apart from my own! They are so fun. There is never a dull moment in the Rushdi household! That is for sure!

4) My Job. As you know, the housing market isn't doing as well as it has been. I am SO thankful that I have a wonderful job, and wonderful co-workers.

5) Our cute little apartment. Okay, not the greatest place to live, but it has brought us so many blessings. We are in a ward that is 2nd to NONE! We've met great people, the location is great, and it is very close to Mark's job and school. (Which I am sure he is very greatful for also!)

6) My Friends!!! I am sitting here trying to think of something profound to say, but I can't! I am speechless. I have the greatest friends that anyone could ask for!! Thank you for all that you do for me and keeping in touch! You guys are the best!

Phoenix Zoo Lights

Mark and I went to the Phoenix Zoo lights last Saturday for a Phi Theda Kappa event. We had never been, and we had a great time! I think my favorite part of the whole night is when we just sad at one of the tables by the carousel and just sat and talked. It seems like we have little together time these

days. We had kettle corn and ice cream and watched all the families anxiously await to get on the ride! We had a great time!!!

P.S. PTK had a raffle while we were at the zoo. There were portable DVD players, hunting equipment, and several wrapped objects - and Mark won a candle!!!!!!! Yeah for me! It was cinnimon!!!

Friday, November 16, 2007

If I only had a brain!!!

This is a picture of the cards I made for Thanksgiving. I don't know if you've ever seen those clear plastic envelopes that you can mail cards in, but they are my new favorite thing! I placed all of my Thanksgiving cards into these see-through sleeves and stuck them in my card box. (I made them a few weeks ago). Well, earlier this week I realized that I needed to send them out soon in order for them to make it to our family in Idaho. I got them all out, addressed them, and placed them on the table. I was so proud of myself that I had them made early, and would be mailing them with just enough time for them to receive them the day before Thanksgiving.

I am driving down the highway today thinking about my Thanksgiving plans (or lack of) and it hit me with a ton of bricks!! I mailed all of my cards....BLANK! I didn't write a single flipping thing in them. 10 beautiful, handmade, pieces of work - with not a word inside!! I was so worried about getting them mailed that I didn't write in them!! I honestly laughed (out loud) for about 5 minutes while I am driving down the freeway! What on earth do I do now? Do I call and tell them? Or wait for them to call me asking why I sent them a blank card?? If I only had a brain!!!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Weekend Trip To Vegas!

Mark and I had the oppurtunity to go to Vegas this weekend to visit some of our closest friends who just recently moved there! Shannon and I were "the girls" in the Construction Management Major at BYUI and actually lived together for a little while right before she got married. Then after I got married we lived in the same 4-plex for a few months while I finished my last semester of school in 2005 so we hadn't seen each other for about 2 years!! They showed us their adorable home, the sites that they work at, (Brian's company is doing all the landscaping for the Wynn!)some great places in Vegas, and you can't go to Vegas without seeing the water shows at the Ballagio! It was a great weekend!!!!

New Jeans - My 20 pound prize!

Close your eyes and imagine this:

You are walking down the street - it is a beautiful day, birds are chirping, there is a slight breeze, you smell freshly baked cookies coming from the bakery across the street....and you just can't help but think that it is a perfect day! You look around and see beautiful trees, kids playing, fast cars, and then....out of the corner of your eye you see it!! Boy Howdy!! It is the nastiest pair of pants you've ever seen! Drooping butt, baggy thighs, gaping denim?? Oh, who is that poor soul wearing those disgusting things?? She turns around (she smells the wonderful cookies, but decides she is too good for them and heads to the gym!) You think to yourself, "Oh! But of course! It is Kristen Starr."

I have seriously felt like that! No joke! I have lost over 20 pounds now, but had decided I wasn't buying new clothes until I had hit 20-25 pounds. (enough to make a noticeable difference) I really was supposed to buy khakis for work, but I found these jeans at Layne Bryant and couldn't pass them up. I used to call LB the "Chub" store (Now with that said - "Chub" was just my joke name for it and has no negative connotation - LB has been my favorite clothing store since I knew it existed!)- but I think it has now earned the title of " Where-have-you-been-all-my-life, sexy, wonderful, jeans of my dream" store!! :) They have a new line called "Right Fit" jeans made for different body shapes - and they hit it right on for me! I love them!

I know this is really dumb - but I was so excited that they had to go on my blog!! Only 20 more pounds and I get another pair!!

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

My Little Emma Grace

This is my niece Emma. Isn't she just so adorable?? ( I think she kind of looks like Boo from Monsters, Inc.) We have been away from our families for so long! I feel like I am missing out on all the little ones growing up! But I am going home for Christmas!! I can't wait!!
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(You can click on it to make it bigger!)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Mark's Induction into Phi Theta Kappa

On Friday night, Mark and I attended his induction into the Phi Theta Kappa! (International Honors Society) It was such a great program - I could tell that the officers really put a lot of time into it!

When we first got there they were serving dinner. We didn't know
anyone there, so we sat next to another young couple, Heather and Tyler. Come to find out he is the nephew of one of my college professors!!! Small world.

Heather and I sat by each other as
Mark and Tyler were being inducted.

They were given a rose to symbolize "purity" and a candle for "unity".

I am so proud of Mark. He is really excelling in school and really has a passion for what he is studying.
He is going to be a great doctor some day!!!

Monday, October 29, 2007

My Celebrity Look-a-Like

So I was looking at my friends blog and it led me to this website where you can determine which star you look most like - Julia Stiles was mine! I thought this was pretty cool. If you want to check it out - go to

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Wonderful Weekend

Hi again! Just wanted to share some fun photos of things that happened over the weekend. Friday night Mark and I went to dinner with some of our friends (Zemps and Svancaras) - we went to Coasta Vita - I had never been there, and I really loved it!

Afterwords we went back to the Svancara's house and carved pumpkins (which was the first time Mark and I have carved pumpkins together - so that was exciting) and then played games. We had a great time!

Then on Saturday we went to our ward's trunk-or-treat/chilli cook off event. It was so fun seeing all the kids in their costumes!

Today the Primary did their program. I must say that Drea and Christine (and the WHOLE primary) did a fantastic job!! I got goosebumps so many times! They did great!!

What a wonderful weekend!!!!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Yummy "Tummy" Fruit Dip

Here is the recipe for my family's fruit dip. It is delicious!!!

This is the easiest fruit dip in the world! You take one package of cream cheese and mix it with a jar of marshmallow puff. (I use a mixer to get it really fluffy).

Then you add 3 -5 teaspoons of frozen orange juice (or to taste). This gives it a little bit of a kick. I think it would probably be really good to use any frozen drink - like passion fruit or something like that! I will have to try it! Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

So today is the first time in my entire life that I had to call in sick! I have relized that I am really not missing out on much while I am at work. There isn't anything on TV, my neighbor hood doesn't magically come alive, and worst of all, Mark isn't home.

Preface to my staying home today...

Sunday Mark and I were a little late getting out the door for church. I put on these super cute wedge shoes that mark had bought me (the drawing really doesn't do them justice! ) and run down the stairs. As I am running, I noticed my knees felt funny. I didn't think anything of it - maybe it was the shoes, whatever, right? Well Monday morning I wake up and my right knee is swollen! What?!? What is this?? I go to work, stay at my desk as much as I can, and figured I would sleep it off.

Well, here comes Tuesday morning, I hit the alarm like 7 times, and finally throw my legs off to the side of the bed. I go to stand up - and just tumble right back onto the bed. After the inital pain subsided, I look down to see that my knee caps turned in to "squish". Again, not wanting to break my perfect record at work - I get ready and head down the 17 stairs to the garage. OH MY GOODNESS!! What was happening to me? It was crazy painful! I made it through a few hours of work and gave up on trying to be tough about it.

Needless to say - my doctors appointment didn't give us a lot of information - the swelling was too high to really see what was going on. All we know is that I'll have to have an MRI to see why my knees are filling up with fluid. But hey, they are doing better today, so I have high hopes that whatever is going on - I may be able to "sleep it off" tonight!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tonight's Book Club

Tonight I am hosting our ward's monthly book club. I am a little nervous because guess what we have read the last two months!? Last month was Harry Potter, and the month before that it was the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer!
Let me just tell you that Harry Potter night was like stepping into Hogwarts! They had a picture area set up where you could have your picture taken. (When I get mine back, I will post it! ) There was dry ice, Bert's Jelly Beans, home made root beer, and we even got sorted into our own houses! I mean, come on, it was pretty rad! And I pick a book about a dog??
Just kidding! I loved the book! I am predicting that it is going to be really fun. Because the book is about this crazy (but lovable) dog, I asked everyone to bring a picture and/or stories of their dog/pets to share with everyone. I CAN'T wait for that! I think it will be funny!! Plus! I made tummy fruit dip! I'll let you know how it goes!! :)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

My Favorite Ice Cream

Excitement overwhelms my soul!! You will not believe what happened.....

Mark and I are driving home yesterday from running some errands when I asked him to stop by Safeway really quick. We are walking past the end cap for the frozen section when I saw it! I literally stopped and dropped my jaw!! There it was, all shiny and in its packaging, just staring right back at me!!!

It is the Safeway brand of Gingerbread Cookie Ice Cream. (Only out for the Holidays) Don't think I'm crazy, but this is my FAVORITE!! We discovered it last year....probably the end of December, beginning of January. And it was only out until February when they all went on clearence. (I should have stocked up). The thing I love about it is that there are these little gingerbread cookies - probably the size of a quarter - but they are soft! It is heaven in your mouth. I really am not much of a gingerbread person, oh! But this is good!! We LOVE it as a float with ginger ale. YUM!! If you are up to trying a new kind of icecream - I would reccomend it!!!
This years is 5 Weight Watcher points per 1/2 cup!! So my little half gallon container better last me till my next birthday!!

I made a baby!!!! (Don't get too excited!)

My mother is so talented at making porcelain dolls!! We grew up making our own - it was our mother/daughter time that we always had. Sometimes we would even submit them to the State Fair and other little events like that!

This one is Claire! I made her while I was engaged. I had been in Colorado Springs for an internship with Pulte Homes for most of our engagement, so when I came home I only had about a week or so before we got married. While Mark was working I would just go to my mom's shop and work on her. Isn't she cute?

Life got pretty crazy after I got married. I was finishing my last semester of school and then we immediately moved to Arizona - so I never finished her. So about a month or so ago my mom called and said that she had sent me something....I was so excited when I opened the box and it was Claire - all finished - and in this adorable dress. She's my baby - until I have one of my own! :)

Tissue-Inspired Beard

Okay, long story.....

About 3 weeks ago, Mark was fighting this terrible cold. I was out in the living room working on some crafts and Mark was doing his Calc homework. I saw him get up several times to go blow his nose - which I thought nothing about....until probably the 5th time he comes out like this!!! I about died!! How many shots of Nyquil did he take?? I know my husband is pretty crazy - but a tissue mustached cowboy?

Well, needless to say - I honestly think that day sparked this "grand" idea that he would grow a beard. So it has been about 2 and 1/2 weeks or so - and it is pretty full now. He loves it. It takes a lot to get used to - especially when it is in the "scratchy" stage...

Monday, October 15, 2007

New Gym Partner

Well, after vigorous research, I have finally found a new gym partner.

It seems as though everyone I know has an iPod, and I always thought, "What's the big deal?" - but as I have been trying to loose weight, I have realized that they really do come in handy - especially to take my mind off the feeling of my lungs exploding!! (I hear that is supposed to go away sometime soon! :) haha!

Mark and I bought the little guy over the weekend and had a lot of fun putting a bunch of songs and videos on it! We even added an episode of Heroes!! That is our favorite show right now! It is amazing that such a tiny little thing can hold so much!!! (I know - I am about 5 years behind on being amazed - but hey! Whatever!!)

Monday, October 08, 2007

October General Conference

Yesterday concluded our semi-annual general conference for our church. I really enjoyed listening to all of the people that spoke - I learned A LOT!!!

I have always loved conference time - especially the few times I have been able to get tickets to the conference center to watch it live. I remember the last time I was down there was when Mark told me he wanted to marry me!! Since then it has always sparked fond memories, and the beauty alone of temple square often makes me speechless.

This picture of the Salt Lake Temple has been one of my favorites since I set me eyes on it!! I loved the weathered look - and how it makes me feel like I was there years and years ago!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

My Beautiful Sister Kendi

October 11th will mark the 4 year anniversary since my sister Kendi passed away. It is hard to think about it period, but when I do - it feels like it was a year ago....maybe two years ago....but not FOUR!! We miss her dearly, and we think of her often.

Kendi and I are exactly 1 year and 2 weeks apart. She was born January 3rd, 1983 and I was born January 17th, 1984. Because we were so close in age, we were often in the same Sunday School classes. She went to a different Jr. High than I did because the special education department was more advanced and could take better care of her. We did however, go to the same high school, and we both graduated (with Mark of course) in the class of 2002!!