Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Merry Christmas to All

Our Christmas was fantastic! This is my favorite time of year because of all the time that I get to spend with family and friends. Dave and I were able to enjoy time with both of our families, and it was a great holiday indeed!

The tree

It just wouldn't be Christmas with my family unless something like this happened...

The stockings were hung by the...um, kitchen table with care.

Opening a present!

A gift from my sister to Dave.

My parents, opening a painting that I made for them.

Dave's new friend, Gus.

My little sister made matching scarves for me, my sister, and my mom. Here we are, posing with them on!

Hope you had a lovely Christmas this year!

On the 28th, Dave and I celebrated our anniversary. It has already been three years since we tied the knot, and there is no doubt that this year has been the best of our marriage yet! We have grown so much together and love one another so much.

To celebrate our big day, we went out to dinner at the Olive Garden. Italian food is kind of a tradition for us, since that is what we had to celebrate on our honeymoon (before we both got really sick with the flu--no relation). It was beyond the boundaries of scrumptious! After, we spent the evening in SLC.

Have a happy New Year!

Monday, December 15, 2008

On My Mind

Playlist Pick:

Allemande by Keane

~I am so ready for the semester to end. I say this every semester. Then school starts again, and I'm all excited to start over new. Then, about half way through, things start to drag...and the cycle starts over again. Oh, school...why must you tease me this way?

~On that same note, I'm glad I am finally taking another creative writing class next semester. And adolescent literature should be fun, too!

~I was fortunate enough to get a massage last weekend, and in the midst of it, it hit me: maybe I still DO want to do massage therapy. Maybe.

~I miss being able to WRITE whenever I want to. And no, school papers do not count.

~I take public transportation almost every day. Once in a while, I happen to see this particular bus driver who looks exactly like Santa Claus. Today I saw him again, and I attempted to take a discreet picture of him with my cell phone but the guy kept watching me and I couldn't do it. I don't want to end up on the naughty list!

~I like blog posts like this because they don't have to follow a specific topic, and my mind is wandering too much for a real post.

~Dry cleaners charge too much. Who can afford to pay $12 to wash a jacket on a regular basis? Not me.

~I'm going to work on a paper now.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Festival of Trees

Last Saturday, Dave and I went to the Festival of Trees. It is a huge event where people display trees that they have created and sell them to benefit the Primary Children's Medical Center. It is very magical to walk through a forest of themed trees and soak up the holiday spirit. I took pictures of some of my favorites:

A Noah's Ark tree that I thought was adorable!

I have a certain love for bugs (unless they are in my apartment).

This isn't actually one of my favorites, but I had to show this. You may not want to believe it, but this wasn't the only Twilight tree there. I'm being quite serious.

We ran into an old friend!

This was disturbing. They drew eyes on Marley with a pen, and Scrooge didn't actually have any eyes at all, just gaping holes. And they aren't looking at each other. Odd.

There was an area with various gingerbread houses. This was the best one--I can't even begin to guess how long this would take to construct!

Hands down the coolest tree there. It's made of glass, reminiscent of Chihuly's work.

A girly tree with shoes on it. It's like a dream come true!

A freakishly anorexic Santa dances with the lovely Mrs. Claus.

And...a Pez tree!

We were so glad we went, and we hope this will become a Christmas tradition for our family!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Thanksgiving (part 2)

The situation in the back seat on the trip to AZ.

Stopping to eat in a parking lot in Page.

Hanging out with my family

Food can be beautiful!


Dave bonds with Ralphy

Kitties! These guys are real lap cats these days.

Farewell, Arizona!

Thanksgiving (part 1)

This Thanksgiving, Dave and I were grateful for the opportunity to visit my parents in Arizona.

We debated about how many cars to take. My older sister, her husband, and my younger sister were all going to AZ, too, so we wanted to carpool. In the end we chose to take one car, since we wanted to save as much money on gas as possible. We crammed 5 people into a little Honda Civic, and we will not make the mistake of having so many people travel in one car again. I'm not going to say the drive was terrible, but...well, it wasn't a pretty sight, or a jumping-up-and-down happy experience. When there is no space for you to move your legs, you become a grumpy person, simple as that.

We arrived on Wednesday night around 8 or 9pm and hung out for a while before going to bed. Dave and I got to sleep on a mattress on the floor of the living room, but it wasn't too uncomfortable. The worst of it was that the cats tried to sleep on us.

On Thursday, some of us spent time in the kitchen cooking for the big Thanksgiving feast we would have later with my aunt and cousins (and 2nd cousins). I made a few fun things like cranberry sauce and sweet potato crunch. As it turns out, my extended family has become so large that my aunt held the Thanksgiving meal in a church cultural hall. Kind of strange, but it worked.

We arrived around 3pm and said hi to our relatives. We made some finishing touches on the food and then we were ready to eat. Oooh yeah, was it good! It was great to spend time with relatives and enjoy a great meal! Several of my cousins sat around a table afterward and worked on the "plan of attack" for Shop Til You Drop, a tradition in my family, although it is a crazy one. I had already flipped through the ads and knew what I was interested in (although there wasn't much I was really planning to buy...it was mostly about the "family bonding" aspect of the whole thing). I haven't really done this Black Friday thing, I mean, REALLY done it, in years, and the plan was to get up at 3am and be at Kohl's before 4am.

That night, we played games with my family and watched "Fiddler on the Roof" (I know, it's a real Thanksgiving classic, right?) as we munched on delectable leftovers and enjoyed each other's company. The three of us insane people who were going to go shopping in the morning tried to go to bed early.

At the crack of 3am my mom woke up my sister and me, and we were off on our shopping adventure. First we stopped at Kohl's, where my aunt was holding a place in line outside the door. As we entered the store, the shoppers were remarkably courteous and no one was trampled or shoved at all. We found what we needed and moved along to the next stop: Wal-Mart.

Now, we all know what Wal-Mart is like on any given Saturday, so just try to imagine the vision of horror that played out on Black Friday. It was like the flood gates opened and people completely lost their self control as they raged down the aisles. I felt like I was stranded on a tree limb amidst a flash flood as I stood guarding my mom's cart with my sister cringing by my side. Ah, commercialism. It's SUCH a wonderful thing...

Okay, a little overdramatic, perhaps. Anyway, we made a couple more stops before we were too exhausted to go on. I didn't buy much, really, but it was really fun to hang out with my mom, sister, and other relatives.

We arrived back home around 8am, just as the rest of the family was waking up. I collapsed onto the mattress and slept for a good 3 or 4 hours before I was ready to be a functional human again. Ship Til You Drop is not for the faint of heart, I assure you. (Honestly, it is only for the very insane)

We spent the day visiting relatives. That evening we went to see my cousin and his fiancee. Some of us stayed later and played games with them and roasted marshmallows in their fire pit, and it was a blast!

In the morning, Larissa and her husband went to visit family, and Jana, Dave and I went to Trader Joe's to shop. That night I made dinner (veggie soup) and we watched "King Kong" (I needed to watch it for my theory class) and played Phase 10.

We left in the morning. It was a tough ride home, but we made it! It was sad to leave my family in Arizona.

So, all in all, it was a wonderful holiday!