Saturday, December 12, 2009

'Tis the Season

I love Christmas time. It is, without a doubt, the best time of the year. I love it because I get to:

1. listen to Christmas music.

2. drive through a nice neighborhood with Brennan to look at the Christmas lights.

3. dance in the kitchen with my nieces to "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (while singing along as loud as possible of course)

4. eat yummy soup made by Brennan.

5. drink hot chocolate and wear slippers

6. go to Christmas concerts

7. shop for Christmas presents!

I think the thing I love the most is how those silly, less-important things that always seem to matter a great deal suddenly don't during Christmas time. It is time for finals and I would normally be stressed. But it seems that the spirit of the season makes it nearly impossible to be stressed. Now finals aren't really silly and they ARE important, but they are not MOST important. It doesn't really matter if I get an A or a B on my tests next week. Somehow the magical-ness of this Holiday helps me see that. In less than a week I get to go spend time with my family, relax, play in the snow, see old friends, enjoy my first Christmas with my husband, and just be happy! And that helps me not worry about tests or bills to be paid or anything else. Christ was born a long, long time ago for a very special reason. He died for me and He lives and loves me today. And that will still be true no matter what grades I get or what job I find or don't find. THAT puts things in perspective.

I wish it was Christmas time ALL the time. :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Sunny Thanksgiving

There are very very opportunities to get away while in school. So Brennan and I took the opportunity to escape Utah during Thanksgiving break. We played hooky Monday and Tuesday so we could leave on Friday and have a nice long visit in Arizona with my sister Mara and her husband Ben. The weather was absolutely beautiful and we tried to absorb as much sun as possible before we came back to the reality of winter. It was quite an eventful trip. There was fishing, ear piercing, horseback riding, game playing, good-food-eating, and lots of laughs all around. I love the Holiday season and the opportunities it gives us to spend time with family. It's the best.

Well anyway, a picture tells a thousand words right? So I will attempt to describe our splendid vacation through a plethora of photographs. My apologies.

First I will show off our wonderful works of art. To get in the Thanksgiving spirit, Brennan and I made these hand turkeys for Family Home Evening before we left for Arizona. We will not be quitting our day jobs to say the least.

After that fun little craft we were off to sunny Arizona. Mara had a strict agenda we had to adhere to on our first day there. All it really entailed was a trip to the grocery store and my ears getting pierced. She was quite adamant about the latter so at the ripe old age of 22 I got my ears pierced.

I look pretty happy about it don't I?

That night we played a game called Quelf. It is really quite random but produced some remarkable photo opportunities.

Here is Ben pretending to play the drums with scissors and a dangerously sharp knife whenever it wasn't his turn. Much to my dismay we couldn't get him to talk like a fiery little gnome but he would comply with this rule.

Finally, we have a wonderful rendition of Kumbaya by Mara. She probably won't be too pleased with having this on the internet but it is my favorite. The sound quality isn't that great and you have to hear my less-than-pleasant voice in the background. I apologize. Oh! And I could not, for the life of me, figure out how to get the movie to flip. Lame.

video

I have to put one more video up. This is of Brennan and Ben during Cranium another night. The girls won by the way. :)

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Brennan and I were pretty lazy on this vacation. While Mara and Ben were working hard all day we were pretty unproductive. Here is evidence:

You'd think we spent Thanksgiving in Alaska with the way Brennan has a blanket wrapped around him AND he's sitting in front of the fireplace.

Nathan and Stacy and their girls were able to come down on Tuesday and spend the rest of the week with us. It was fun to have even more family around. Usually the girls in our family go out at the crack of dawn for Black Friday deals. Not this year. Brennan, however, did brave the crowds to try to get us a laptop at Best Buy. He got up at 2:30 in the morning, but because an employee gave him a ticket for the wrong laptop, he came home empty handed. How disappointing.

At least he had good company. His little brother, Quinton, and his friend Kayce joined him in the long, unrewarded wait.

Later that day we went to Ben's parent's house. We got to ride the horse and pick oranges. It was lots of fun. Funny story though. Ben was attempting to bridle the horse, while all the rest of us watched. Keep in mind that the little girls were expecting to ride this horse in a few minutes. Well the horse proceeds to throw a fit right in front of us. She nearly yanked Ben over before she decided to just lay down. I think she must have suddenly realized how much bigger than Ben she is. I mean how much does she weigh?? If she doesn't want to be bridled, what on earth could Ben possibly do about it? Nothin, and she suddenly realized that. He was successful in bridling her and we were able to enjoy some short rides. She managed to behave long enough for everyone to have a turn.

Mallory and I enjoying a ride. Led by Ben, of course. We aren't that brave.


The girls showing off the oranges they picked. And Brennan's belly. :)

We got to celebrate Ben's birthday while we were there. Unfortunately he had to work for half of the day even though it was a Saturday! But he was still able to take the girls fishing.

Here he is with Libbie. The rest of us just got to watch because we don't have fishing licenses.

Ben told me he wanted a hug for his birthday when I asked a few weeks ago. I couldn't let his birthday pass without giving him his birthday wish. Luckily we captured this precious moment.


We were able to go see the lights decorating the Mesa temple grounds for Christmas. It was a bit nippy but quite a sight to see.

Here I am with Claire and Libbie outside the temple.

I just had to include these cute pictures of the girls feeding the ducks at a pond near Mara and Ben's new place.
Stacy brought a super cute craft for us to do while we were down there. It was a lot of work at times and I felt my craft skills were quite inadequate, but I don't think the finished product is half bad considering it was my first time doing anything like this.

It is certainly a time to give thanks. We have been blessed with so much and we are grateful for the opportunity this time of year gives us to reflect on those blessings. Most of all we are grateful for our wonderful families, the blessings of the temple, and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mom would be so proud

I got brave and I made cheese bread today.  It didn't appear to be rising like it should so I was pretty worried it wouldn't turn out.  But, surprisingly enough, it did.  It was just ever-so-slightly overcooked but other than that not too shabby.  My mom has some incredible kitchen skills so I think she has always been a little disappointed at my lack of them.  I know my grandpa has sure been disappointed that I haven't inherited her abilities.  But making homemade bread?  I mean, come on, she HAS to be proud of that.  I did have to call her a half dozen times in the process...but I'll still count it as an accomplishment.

I decided I'd post a little picture of something else I'm sure my mother would be proud of.  She sent this shirt for Brennan in my birthday package.  She knows him too well.  It is so fitting for his personality.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Double deuce and Mat Kearney

So...this might be kind of a long post. It was my birthday last week. The big 22. It was my first birthday since Brennan and I met, and let me tell you he set the bar high for himself. :) He took me out to eat at Texas Roadhouse and then we went miniature golfing. He made quite a fancy birthday cake for me as well.

This is the yummy cake he made. I'd say he did a pretty good job for a guy. :)

The happy couple mini golfing. I won.

This was one of Brennan's presents for me. He has "Remember..." stitched into his scriptures and I always thought it was neat. So he did "Be still..." for me.

Okay, so we bought our mattress from this store on State Street in Orem and the guy working there was painting while there weren't any customers. He had a bunch of neat Book of Mormon scenes and I really like them. I mentioned to Brennan how much I liked his artwork and since forgot about it. Well Brennan took him a wedding picture of ours and had him paint it for me for my birthday. I love it!

I kind of feel like my birthday has been going on for over a week now. It's like we just keep celebrating. One of Brennan's presents was tickets to the Mat Kearney concert in Salt Lake this last Wednesday. We didn't get there as early as we might have liked but we ended up getting to stand in the second row pretty close to the center. (And we sort of inched ourselves toward the center as the night went on.) It was a rough start, with the concert starting a half hour late making a grand total of 4.5 hours standing in the same place. But it turned out to be a great night. We loved the concert! Mat Kearney was awesome live. And we really enjoyed the music of Vedera, the band who opened for him. We did have some crazies behind us and to the side. The ones to the side kept us entertained with their way of "feeling" the music. It was hilarious.

That's how close we were. We even got to touch him. :) I'm pretty sure he made eye contact with me a couple of times. My friend Kim was at the concert too and she said the same thing. It was kind of awkward when it felt like he was looking at you though.

He was awesome! If you don't know his music you should check it out.

So fun! Thanks for such a great birthday Brennan! And thanks to everyone else for the gifts and the birthday wishes. I had a great day.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Jack-o-Lanterns

Brennan bought pumpkins for us to carve quite awhile ago. We discovered recently that the smaller one was starting to look not-so-healthy, so we decided it was probably time to carve them. We gutted them first and roasted the seeds so we could have a snack while we worked. :) Neither of us have ever roasted pumpkin seeds before, but luckily it seems to be pretty fool proof so they were edible.
Here is Brennan getting the process started.
At this point I was starting to get annoyed with Brennan's vicious carving methods which were causing the table to shake rather violently.
The finished products.
I'm not sure why my face is like that.
Our glowing masterpieces.
This was my first time being the primary carver of any pumpkin, but I would say it was slightly succesful. It was certainly fun. Our pumpkins are now precariously balancing on the railing on our balcony, so hopefully it doesn't get too windy.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pumpkin Cookies and The Sound of Music

We are enjoying our Sunday evening by making pumpkin cookies and watching The Sound of Music, hence the title. I just wanted to post something now that we have a blog. So here we are, officially part of the blogging world now. What a feeling of accomplishment. :)