Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas Break!

Happy New Year's Eve! Our Christmas Break was way too short, but it's NICE to relax. I had finals and Russ had his first (busy) week as a Hall Advisor and then we headed off to Virginia.

Probably the best part of the entire trip was playing with my little niece. She is almost 6 months old and SO much fun! She loved to smile, stick out her tongue, furrow her little eyebrows, and my personal favorite was how she would always grab her toes. It made her so happy! Tyler said it would be funny if we, as adults, also thought it was fun to just lay on our backs and grab our toes. That's a pretty funny mental image, and Russ and I even tried it out. I can stick my toes in my face, but Russ can't (in case you were wondering) :). I also loved playing dress up with her! BABIES! She was obsessed with the wrapping paper. We tried to take some pictures of her "opening" her presents, but she ended up just holding the wrapping paper. Oh well. Maybe next year.

her little sweater was actually mine when I was a baby! Cute, huh?

The second best part of the trip was just being able to lounge around and play games or hang out with my family. I'm not sure when we will all see each other again, so we made the most of it. We also toured DC a little bit one evening. We went to the White House, Arlington Cometary (getting the personal tour from my dad, who is an engineer there), and the Pentagon. I hadn't seen the Pentagon Memorial before - it's really neat. At the White House there were trees from each state, so we had fun trying to find all of our states.

(Russ didn't think he should smile in this picture because we were at a Cemetery)

We also went to the DC Temple and saw the lights and the Visitor's Center. Russ and I seem to always go to temples at night, and this was no exception. But it was beautiful and nice to see so many people at the temple.

One day we took family pictures. I will put some of them on here - we were wearing white and kaki but you can only see the white. I think they look like baptism pictures or something :)

We were only in Virginia for a week, Russ needed to get back to work. But it's kind of nice to be back a little early and take care of some business and relax a little since I won't be able to for the next 4 months or so!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Holidays

I suppose it's about time to write another entry in the blog. This is the last week of classes, the last week of being in our apartment, and the last week of Russ working at Robotronics (which I affectionately call "Robobobo"). I am trying to take things one day at a time with classes, but I think overall I will have a pretty good GPA at the end of the semester. Usually, I never win contests. Nothing. But Russ has really good luck with winning things and getting free things. Well, since I've gotten married I've noticed that happening to me a little more. For example, just today I found out that I was RANDOMLY CHOSEN to submit a paper to the English Department! Except - that's not really a positive thing, is it?

My family has a LOT of Christmas traditions, but for some reason the one I felt the most strongly about was having a Christmas tree! I love Christmas and I love decorating for Christmas! So even though we are moving this week and won't even be here for Christmas, I ....somewhat coerced... Russ into getting a Christmas tree in the apartment. It's a fake tree, but it has multicolored lights (my favorite) and my mom sent me 2 boxes of my Christmas tree ornaments I've collected over the years from all over the world, and I must say that our tree is decked (not sure what that means, but it's

Last week Russ and I started what will probably become a family tradition of seeing "Forgotten Carols". I must admit that I hadn't really heard much about it, but I LOVED it! I think that maybe as the years go by we'll either read the book or go to the production as the opening of the holiday season and then decorate the tree afterward. It just really gets you into a Christmas mood.

Here's a cute story: a couple days ago I was trying to put some honey on a roll, but there wasn't much honey left (there should have been, but my brother pretty much killed it off in one sitting at Thanksgiving) and so, in my ANGUISH, I said, "Oh! Honey bear!" and I heard Russ in the other room reply, "...Are you talking to me?" And thus, a new nickname is born.

I also realized that I neglected to write anything about Thanksgiving. I had my first Thanksgiving in my house. I cooked the Turkey and although I don't think anyone would say it's the BEST turkey they've EVER had...I think it turned out okay. My brothers, Russ, and I were busy in the kitchen getting things ready (we had 3 pies for 4 people) and then played Settlers of Catan online while the turkey cooked (I know, we're cool huh?). Then we ate - man we had everything from the stuffing and homemade mashed potatoes to cranberry sauce and rolls.

The boys playing Settlers on the couch

The finished product

The rolls were an adventure. I don't know what it is, but I have been very unsuccessful as a bread baker (Russ told me that everyone has their weaknesses). My yeast just won't rise (does anyone have any suggesstions?) So after I toiled over some rolls and they didn't rise, I did a yeast experiment and the one that rose the most got put in with the bread dough. Problem was, by the time the yeast rose, the rest of the dough was made so the yeast didn't mix in. The result...was not pretty. Luckily, however, the roll story has a happy ending, but they were finished about 10 hours after dinner was over.

Trying to get at least ONE of them to rise!

My failed rolls.

While I accidently took a nap after dinner, I woke up and Russ had bought himself a Thanksgiving Day present: a 32" High Definition Flat Screen TV. Boys.

And finally, my yearly turkey pictures...