Tuesday, December 01, 2009

All I Want for Christmas Is A Real Good Tan

Don't get me wrong, I love everything about Christmas. I love church during December because it is more meaningful, I love the treats, the snow, the parties, Christmas music and decorations.... Unfortunately, I'm one of those people that typically gets a little caught up in the chaos of shopping for gifts, including my own. I usually pick up a few presents for Bret to give me, in addition to the ones he picks out himself. This year, things are a little different. Clothes of all kinds usually top my wish list, but at this point in the pregnancy, there is no use buying maternity or regular clothes. Since a Santa wish list can be as impractical as I can dream it, all I really want is a real good tan. Of course, this is inspired by one of my favorite Christmas songs, but to me it is a good wish for several reasons. First, there is no chance of me traveling, much less getting into a swimming suit. Second, I'm fairly fair skinned, and third, I have sun allergies that prevent me from spending too much time laying out anyways. So until Santa comes and grants my wish, I'll just look back at some pre-pregnancy pics and dream about spending Christmas at the beach with some coconut tanning oil and a book.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Meet the Pregnant Cherissa

For those of you who haven't seen me since Bret knocked me up, I wanted to post the first picture I've taken of my pregnant self. So here I am, in all my shining glory, at 31 weeks. This picture was taken at my amazing family baby shower this weekend. More pictures to come, as I'm now realizing the fun and importance of having these pictures, despite the fact that they will haunt me when I'm less chubby!

Monday, November 09, 2009

DOTS at Evening of Excellence

Last Sunday was my Young Women's Evening of Excellence. It was a ton of work to pull off, with everything else I'm doing right now, but it turned out really cute. For anyone who is in Young Womens and needs a cute idea, feel free to poach this one because it didn't originate from me! I heard about the theme DOTS - Depend on the Savior this Spring and I couldn't wait to use it. If you have other cute ideas for other Young Women events, please email me and let me know about them!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Isn't She Lovely?

Here SHE is! We couldn't wait any longer to find out the gender of our little one. Last week we went to Fetal Photo where my friend Kimi Fry did the ultrasound. Thanks to her we got in at the last minute. At my 14 week appointment my doctor thought the baby looked like a boy, so we were very surprised to hear we are going to have a daughter. I've been feeling a little overwhelmed because I had started planning a blue nursery and we had names narrowed down. Now I need to start thinking pink and thinking of more girl names. That aside, Bret is excited to have a "Baby Riss" and it is nice to finally know what is kicking around in me!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Did you suspect we are expecting?

Big news for the Newton family... we are anxiously awaiting a tiny addition to make us a family of three! I'm sure when people read this there will be a collective sigh of relief because Bret and Cherissa are FINALLY having kids. After being married six years, we just couldn't wait any longer. So, I am about 10-11 weeks along and due in January. This may seem a little early to make this announcement, but people in my ward found out because I was absent for most of our Pioneer Trek and green in the face when I was there. People at my work were also wondering if I had Swine Flu and why I wasn't getting any better. So at the risk of the news leaking unintentionally on Facebook, we decided to share our excitement early with everyone!

I'm excited to chat with all of you about it in person and can't wait to hear all the good advice for dealing with morning sickness, fatigue, and all the other wonderful symptoms of pregnancy!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What I Wished I Would Have Said?

Last Saturday was tough! After a chaotic effort to set up flags for each house in our ward for Flag Day, I had to finish turning in the last of my Young Women's permission forms for the Stake Pioneer Trek that is this week. I was stressed and tired, so when I took the forms to the person collecting them from our Stake, I wasn't fully prepared for what happened next. To keep it short, there had been a mix-up and he thought I hadn't turned in any forms, when I had turned in the majority of them two weeks before. Anyways, once this person realized I had all my trek forms in order, he said to me, "I just thought you were too young to have the depth to understand how important these permission forms are."

What did I say?
"Oh, well I am young....but I'm just glad it all worked out."

What I wished I would have said?
"If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."
"I didn't realize age had anything to do with one's capabilities."
"Well I just thought you were too old and slow to pick up on the fact that I have this all taken care of."
"Age aside, the Bishop seems to think I have enough depth."
"I may be young, but I think I can handle collecting and delivering forms."
"Let me give you my card. Call me and I'll schedule you for a session to learn some interpersonal skills."
"Wow, that is the kind of statement you think in your mind, but don't actually say outloud because it is inappropriate."
"Don't worry, my young age will serve me well on the trail next week."

I'm trying to let it go...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


It has only been two weeks since Bret and I got home from Hawaii and I already feel like I need another vacation. Life feels very chaotic, especially because our time in Maui was so idyllic. Bret golfed, we did some hiking, but mostly we just sat at our resort enjoying the beautiful views. We decided to take a break from scuba diving and just snorkle. Let me say this, snorkling is so lame compared to diving. That is one thing we will do different next time, and yes I'm already thinking about the next time!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Calling for Your Recipes

Does anybody have any great recipes for beginner to intermediate cooks? I'm putting together a cookbook of favorite recipes for the Laurels that are graduating from High School this year. As the new Young Women's president, this is one of those responsibilities that I'm very excited about, because I love putting together fun gifts! If you have any recipes you are willing to share with me, please send them to me by email. As thanks for your time, I will email you back with all the recipes I receive, once I've compiled them. So come on people, don't be stingy (or lazy)!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Cottage in the Woods - Lucky!

Today I found a link to an article that described people who created their dream home offices. Unfortunately, when I finished the article I didn't have any ideas of how I could make my own work spaces more motivating and pleasant. Instead, I was left with feelings of envy and longing! The article described a woman who wanted a quiet place to write and let the creative juices flow (don't we all). She spent $15,000 building her dream "writer's cottage" in the wood in Connecticut. Her cottage is to-die-for and I desperately want one! Unfortunately, I don't forsee us setting aside that kind of money for my own cottage, much less finding a patch of lush, thick woods in our backyard. Maybe some day...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

BFF Wish List - Tag

Today Bret and I were chatting on IM and our conversation developed into our best friend wish list. I thought this would make a pretty fun tag! So for anyone who wants to join in, please do so. I will post ours and can't wait to read yours. The rules are you get to choose three people who you wish were your best friend and why. You can take it serious or, as I have, not so serious. Enjoy!

1. Ari Gold (a fictional character from Entourage)
"Because he is hilarious!"
2. Rory Mcilroy (19 year old professional golfer from Europe)
"Because he has made over 2 mil. as a golfer, and he is only 19!"
3. Justin Timberlake
"Because he is the king of cool."

1. Russell Brand
"I'd like to try to fix him and fail trying. Cute accent and freaking hilarious"
2. Michelle Obama
"Politics aside, she is super accomplished and seems to have it all together."
3. Amy Poehler
"After I saw her do the 'Palin Rap,' I wanted to be her."

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Dogs CAN Get Offended

Pita, our four year old Golden Lab, is very sensitive and loving. When she feels rejected, her feelings get crushed. This is a picture of her being offended by me last Saturday night. Seriously, this happens everytime we let her hang out with us in the house, but this time I had my camera handy. So, I was sitting on the couch working on my lesson for Laurels class on Sunday. Pita kept laying her face across my laptop keyboard so I would stop typing and pet her. I pushed her away so many times I lost my patience and yelled at her to lay down on her dog bed. As ALWAYS, she laid down, tucked in her tail, turned her back on me, and did these noisy sighs, and huffs and puffs until I went and petted her as an apology. Bret likes to describe her as his clingy teenage girlfriend, because that is seriously how she acts with us!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fund Raiser for Sandy Club: A Safe Place for Boys and Girls

Hey all you soft-hearted people out there! I'm speaking to you!

I am hoping to help raise money for a worthy cause. The Sandy Club "A Safe Place for Boys and Girls" is an independent organization that provides a safe, educational, and fun place for children and teens to hang out after school. This organization is similar to the Boys and Girls Club of America, but operates under the city of Sandy. This organization holds a special place in my heart because I've seen first hand the positive effects it can have on a child in need when I worked as a counselor last year. The director and staff are fabulous people who work tirelessly for all the club members to provide them with the best environment possible.

The Sandy Club holds an annual fund raising event at The Hidden Valley Country Club. This year it will take place on March 28th. I would like to encourage anyone who is able to give cash donations, sponsorships, or auction items to help this cause.

In addition to that, my brother Jason is raising money to buy a domain and build The Sandy Club a website. He is doing so as part of a volunteer project as a student at BYU. This is another wonderful opportunity to help your community. The website will provide information about joining the club, online donations, upcoming events, and helpful links for the clubs members.

If you are interested in donating to The Sandy Club through the Annual Fundraising Event, please contact Linda Saville (Director) at 561-4854. If you are interested in helping Jason raise money for The Sandy Club's website, please contact him at jasonstowell@gmail.com.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Whip-Its With Evil Aunt Rissy

Last Saturday Bret and I had my two cute nephews at our house while their parents had a night on the town. When they got there, Lachlan (almost two) indicated it was snack time. I like to set the precedence that anything goes at Aunt Rissy's house. So I opened the refrigerator and said, "Show me what you want to eat!" I thought for sure he would go for the leftover Adam's Peanut Butter Fudge Ripple cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory, but he kept pointing to something higher on the shelf. Behind the milk was a can of whipped cream (I promise we just use it for hot chocolate). So, if that is what Lachlan wants, that is what he gets! He and I did "whip-its" together while Bret just stood by shaking his head. It is fun things like this that make "Aunt Rissy" the answer to "Who is your favorite aunt?"

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Lost Art of Chivalry is Found!

Yesterday I made a quick run to the grocery store. After loading my bags in my car, I turned to take the empty cart to the cart return. Just then, a good looking guy walked by, took hold of my cart, and said "Let me take that for you." At first I thought he meant that he was just going to use the cart. But when he turned it around and steered it over to the cart return, I was stunned that he was simply being chivalrous. When he turned, I quickly smiled, and thanked him as he went on his way.

This small act of kindness was huge to me. My mood instantly lifted and it felt great to be a woman. I've always found chivalry to be a very attractive and important quality in a man. While I don't claim my husband to be a stellar example of chivalry, he puts in a good effort and I do my best to keep him on his toes. I've made sure that Bret has a copy of Emily Post's "The Etiquette Advantage in Business," although it has dust on the cover. I have given the book "How to Raise a Gentleman" to mothers with new son's, though I never feel like they are very excited to read it!

I'm a fairly independent woman and have strong feelings about equal rights. Therefore, I definitely agree that chivalry is a two-way street. Men and women alike must be courteous and respectful to each other, particularly to our partners. Acts of chivalry should be based on the desire to show kindness, not simply based on gender.

Many of you that read my blog have young sons. While I'm sure that you will all raise your sons to be respectful of women, in my counseling practice I see a lot of male teenage clients who fail to understand how to express their respect. Let's make an extra effort to bring chivalry back by teaching our sons, and husbands alike, to be polite and show respect and kindness through simple, day-to-day acts. As women, we can teach our daughters, as well as commit ourselves, to show kindness in return.