Love is a funny thing.
It's full of excitement and happiness.
Pain and tears.
Smiles and laughs.

At the end of the day, how many things are more important than love?
Love for our friends.
Love for our family.
Love for our Savior.

Today I realized that in the movies, on TV and in real life, the people that end up together aren't the people who have the easiest journey, it's the people that put up the biggest fight.
It's the couple who goes through those tough trials.
It's the people who love selflessly, not selfishly.
It's the people who stick together, no matter what.

I'm not just talking about a boyfriend or a girlfriend or a husband or wife.
I'm referring to anyone and everyone.
The parents, the children, the cousins, the friends.

What makes a movie great, or a book inspiring isn't the happily ever after.
It's the journey there.
It's the tears, the heartache, and the fight.
It's the laughs, the memories, and smiles in between.
Loving someone isn't always about the happy times, it's about going through the hard times... together.

{It's about to get real mushy up in here, so be prepared...}

I miss Hunter every single day of my life.
Every single day I think about our memories, our happiness and our love.
I think about our many good times, but I also think about the not so good times too.
I think about the rough patches, the tears, and the emptiness that never seems to go away.
Every day I am reminded why I love that man so much.
Every day I am reminded that the path to happiness isn't easy, but it is worth it.
Heavenly Father knows us so well. 
He knows our struggles, our doubts, and our fears.
I feel so much comfort knowing there is a perfect plan for me, and for all of us.

I love Hunter.
I love him more and more with every sweet letter and with every single email.
I find myself wondering if everyone feels the same way I do.
And I think to myself, "I sure hope so", because love is the best thing I could ever imagine.

I love the way Hunt's eyes light up when he's excited.
I love the way he sounds like a little girl when he's being tickled.
I love the comfort I feel when he holds me.
I love his selfless love for others.
I love his dedication to everything he does.

Most of all, I love the way he loves.

Love is a funny thing.
It doesn't always make sense, and people may call you crazy for it, but true love endures.
And that's something I know for a fact.

Happy nine months down to us.
Happy 2 1/2 year anniversary my sweet Hunter Curtis Hoopes.

"Love is sacrifice, love is patience, love is hope, love is what we have."
-Hunter Hoopes
November 18th, 2013


Christmas Gifts!

It's pretty difficult to come up with Christmas present ideas for a missionary.
You don't want to send anything too expensive (Brazil's postal system is terrible!)
You don't want to send anything he has to carry around for the rest of his mission.
The stuff they can actually use is REALLY limited...

So I just thought I'd share some of the things I sent Hunter, in case anyone is stumped!
(Lucky for me, I have to send everything months in advance so it gets there on time)

Well, here we go!

1. 25 Days of CHRISTmas Countdown

 Photo Album- Michael's

I'm ESPECIALLY proud of this one. 
It took a lot of hard work.
Hunter and I LOVE countdowns.
We've always loved counting the number of days until a holiday, an anniversary, or the next time I would see him.
He always appreciated the thoughtfulness and it gave him something to look forward to every day.
This Christmas isn't any different!
I made him a countdown until CHRISTmas.
Each day I chose a scripture that I felt was important, and the reason why I chose it.
Starting December 1st, he has 25 days of hand-picked scriptures to look forward to.

Here's what the inside looks like:
It took a lot of reading, searching, and time, but I think it turned out great, and I KNOW Hunter will love it. :)

2. Missionary Stocking

{This idea was borrowed from the LOVELY Aleigh Mellinger. Her missionary's name is also Hunter and he comes back in January! She is the cutest and sweetest girl EVER, and here is a link to her blog. Seriously, check it out.}

Stocking- $1.97 at Walmart
Kid's Tie- $6 at Target

I clipped the tie into a small hole I cut inside of the stocking. I hot glued it down, cut a small triangle to look like a shirt, and printed a name tag on photo paper. It's super easy to do, and looks good! It can also be thrown away after Christmas so Hunter doesn't have to carry it around.

For the next few gifts, I found scriptures to match!

3. Thank You Cards

{Hunter always talks about how great everyone is in Brazil, and how much he appreciates them, so I figured he could use a few thank you cards!}

Scripture: Ephesians 5:20
Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ

4. Lifesavers

 Scripture: Luke 9:50 
For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.

5. Swedish Fish

 Scripture: Matthew 4:19
And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

6. Tissues

{In case of emergency sneezes, accidents, tears, or spills!}

Scripture: 2 Kings 20:5
I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee.
7. Peanut Butter 

{Apparently they don't have good peanut butter in Brazil!}

This scripture is also pretty far-fetched...
Scriptures don't refer to peanut butter! So I found the closest thing I could.

Scripture: Song of Solomon 6:11
I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valley

8. Christmas Ties

 {I tried to choose ties that were somewhat Chrismas-y, but ones that he could wear year-round. The phrase was borrowed from Aleigh, once again! She is just too creative.}

9. Tie Clip 

 {Hunter mentioned that it gets pretty windy sometimes, so I bought this personalized tie clip for Etsy! The price wasn't bad and expedited shipping is available. Here is the link. Excellent customer service, and this shop is such a pleasure to work with. }

10. Star Wars Shirt 

{Hunter is a Star Wars nerd! He made me sit through all six of them once... It was a good 12+ hours of cuddling! :) I got this for him just to wear to sleep. It's super soft! It was the ONLY one left, and it was in his size. It was also half-off, so I felt like it was meant to be. I went to the register to check out and it was marked down another 25%, so 75% altogether! Definitely meant to be his.}

Hunter also has this odd obsession with Spongebob. So I wrapped all the presents in Spongebob wrapping paper, and then again in cute wrapping paper! The wrapping will be a surprise in itself:)

Here is the final product!

{I decided to put the scriptures outside of the wrapping paper, so he could guess what they were!}

I hope he likes all his gifts, and I hope it gets there on time.
For any other MG's reading this, please feel free to borrow any of these ideas:)