Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Oh there's no place like home for the holidays!

Well, I did not get a white Christmas. But New Years is starting to look jam packed with fresh white powder! We sure are getting snowed in tonight. I'm glad we have these two weeks to share with our wonderful friends and families! We have been packing in the fun.
To start out, we surprised our families coming up early. The timing on that was awesome because it meant we had more time with them. We also were able to party with my roommates. (Yes, I am aware that I am married and have only one roommate now, but these ladies will always be called my roommates.)

Sorry not the best picture of Jason, but the point was about the girls and we're all smiling. Still love them!

We went to Zoo lights this year with Michael's fam. Our blood must be thinner because it was COLD! Thank heavens for two scarfs, a million shirts and a coat borrowed from Katie because Michael and I both didn't bring coats! Genius!

We met Dasher before his busy night.

I don't think antlers suit me.

I am a fan of Zoo lights. They did a good job with the blend of tree lights and lighted decorations. We saw some animals and they had hot chocolate and conveniently placed heaters. Highly recommended!

Our next adventures left Veronica looking like this:

I'm very impressed with the storing capabilities. You are looking at one bin of ski clothes, five pairs of skis and poles, two snowboards, two pairs of snowboarding boots, six pairs of ski boots, and a partridge in a pear tree. This car is definitely paying off.
We had an amazing day on the slopes. I have really missed my Wasatch mountains. Look how pretty!

There is more where that came from-
to be continued...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Winter Activities

What CAN'T you do in AZ in the winter? Seriously we have been having some fun adventures that keep me thinking is it really December? We went to a drive in movie with friends one weekend. I love driven ins. It was the perfect weather to just sit outside and cozy up during a movie. I haven't done that in December before.

We also have been on a Co-ed softball team with a coworker of mine and his friends. We have had SO much fun. We've had two games every Friday night since the last week of October. Our first couple games were so hard because my legs felt like they were going to fall off- I swear they should not have been that sore. This past Friday was our league's championship game. Our win in the first game put us in the semi-finals and then we lost. We were super proud of ourselves for making it that far. I loved that we got to be on their team. I'm not used to softball being a winter sport!
Here's a picture of our team minus a few that couldn't make it. Team Yahtzee!

After our 8:30 game, we got on the road for Utah. We left our house at 10:00 PM. At about 2 AM Michael parked in a casino parking lot where we slept for about 3 hours and then we were back on the road. We told our parents we were not going to make it until next week so their faces were pretty priceless! So although I kind of miss the 70s temps we left, I'm glad I could possibly get my white Christmas afterall!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tis the season... bake! I have to admit publicly that I really love the awesome goodies people can create over the holidays. My taste buds have not been disappointed this year. I wish I had some of the amazing creativity and patience and talent some folks have for their Christmas treats. But for now, I will stick to tradition.

These loaves take quite awhile to be finished. They aren't fancy schmancy and I don't wrap them in any adorable wrapping. But, I must admit I love the smell that fills up my house when those are in the oven. I love that I hand made them. And ultimately, I love that I got the recipe from the VERY worn 3x5 card of my mom's who got it from my grandma who got it from her mom. Talk about a family recipe!

Growing up, I was constantly walking over to my neighbors' houses to deliver my mom's freshly baked bread. This is my third year delivering my hot-out-of-the-oven-bread to our neighbors. I don't know why but this year's batches have not been the most gorgeous. I'm seriously having a fight with my yeast. Because of the ugly loaves that I've had to deliver, I called my mom in frustration. She reviewed my recipe gave me some tips. The second batch was better but still not out of control fluffy like I'm used to. She said call grandma. So I did. The whole conversation I kept thinking, man, I'm sure glad I have my grandma that I can call and ask her for advice. She sure is an amazing, sassy lady. I'm not going to lie, she and my grandpa are definitely one of our favorite couples to double with.

Moral of the story.... I love this time of year. I love traditions. And I love that I have so many amazing examples in my life.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

...well sort of...I'm not use to being able to enjoy old fashion ice cream while at a Christmas party in the backyard. Nor do I usually get in a swimming suit in December, but Arizona is changing lots of things!

At least our house looks like Christmas time. It sure felt different putting up Christmas decorations when the sun is shining, the grass is growing green, and it's a high of 76. Even though I don't have a fireplace to hang my stockings with care on, I still like having some.

It's been fun to find places in our house for our decorations this year. Even though we can't take weekend trips to see the lights at temple square, my parents sent a piece of Utah to us! The trees light up and everything! And I don't freeze my fanny off enjoying the splendor. Not a bad deal!

The first year Michael and I got married, I went to the wonderful Tai Pan and bought a ton of Christmas ornament balls. Michael thought I was crazy, but I sure love using them everywhere around our house.

What a wonderful time of year!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Time flies when you're having fun?

Alright, I know that I am super guilty of always waiting for tomorrow and I count down to Friday starting Monday and sometimes Sunday night instead of enjoying the present. Weekends are just so good. I guess it is because of this that I have no idea what happened to November. Seriously, that went fast!

To be fair, I think the weather is still throwing me for a loop. It has been the coldest weather in Arizona for the past 75 years, but still, high of 60s and 70s is not December to me yet. So that might add to it.

Whatever the reason, Michael and I both have no idea where November went. We were trying to think of some of our "accomplishments" and things we did. The only big stuff we could think of was Thanksgiving and we were baffled about what happened to the previous 24 days of the month.

Thanksgiving was wonderful. We were brave and had our first Thanksgiving without our families. Mine was in Vegas for a soccer tournament and Michael's went to California. Michael played his turkey bowl game and I thought how thankful I was that I didn't have to watch in 15 degree weather. Thankfully, we were not left without food. Friends from the ward invited us to their first Thanksgiving dinner without family.

It was wonderful and we sure are grateful that we have a good ward and good friends that include us. The Binghams did the big cooking and we brought some fixings. The food was so great and Amy had so many fun touches like our delicious place cards. Amazing holiday!

We had a big surprise on Saturday when the doorbell rang and we found Michael's family on the doorstep. I'm pretty sure that Phoenix is NOT a pit stop from anywhere so, boy, was it a great surprise! We played, shopped, and bbq-ed. (That's right, we're still bbq-ing down here.) After church on Sunday, they took off for Utah. It was short, but fantastic!

And now- December, here we come!