Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Concerts, Caroling, and Vacation Getaway

It has been a couple weeks since I've been able to update our blog again so I thought I would catch you all up on all of the new and exciting things that have been going on with us. We have had a pretty eventful and busy past couple weeks and are excited to share them all with you. I'll quickly rewind to two Saturdays ago to the big day my family had been waiting for for a long time, and that is The Piano Guys concert. We have had the tickets for almost a year now and are huge Piano Guys fans. The concert was so fun and entertaining, and they played all their big hits and our favorite songs. They are really fun to see live and we all enjoyed ourselves. If some of you are not sure who the Piano Guys are: 1. I'm very sorry. You are missing out. And 2. Here are two of my favorites of there's that I will share with you so that you can also start to love them and get into their music as we all have.

I hope you enjoyed those videos. They are my two favorites. And now back to blogging.

For family home evening last Monday we went Christmas caroling with my siblings and their families. We had a lot of fun going to some elderly people and family friends. After caroling we all got together at my sisters house and had hot chocolate and cinnamon rolls. Yum. Here are a few pictures from that... Just kidding... I guess they somehow got erased... :(. There were some really cute ones. Dangit. Anyway...

One of my favorite cousins and best amigos in the world was able to come over to our house on Wednesday night to visit us. She is leaving on her mission to Argentina in about a month and we wanted to spend some quality bonding time before she left. So she came and hung out with Derek and I for a few hours. We made Ice Cream Sundaes, played Yahtzee (one of our favorite games), and just chatted for a bit. We had a lot of fun with Kelli.

Also a little side note. This is our red pomelo that we bought on a whim from Smiths the other night. We thought it looked interesting and good, and we weren't quite sure what it was so we bought it and brought it home to eat. A lot like a grapefruit but 3X as big and a bit sweeter taste just in case any of you are wondering. It took a bit to peel. Derek is here peeling it...

We have been planning a long needed weekend getaway with some of our close friends (Pace and Amanda Clarke) for quite awhile now. We planned it so we could go as soon as finals were over and the fall semester let out. I took a day off of school and we headed out for Midway, Utah. Woohoo! We had a ton of fun and didn't want to come back. Here are a few pictures from the trip... I will explain as we go. 

This is our cute little condo that we stayed in. If you have never been to Midway this is basically what their entire town looks like. It is all Swiss themed and its wonderful. You should all spend a weekend getaway there at some point in your life. We were up in the really high ritzy part of town up in the mountains and we had the greatest time. Here is a quick tour of the inside. 

The living room
The bedrooms
The kitchen
The guys chillin on the couches.

Random fact about Midway: They have natural hot pots EVERYWHERE. Derek and I went out on a run one morning and ran into at least a dozen...and it wasn't a very long run. Here are a few that were around the condo.

On Friday night we headed into Salt Lake to do some shopping at City Creek Mall, went and saw the Christmas lights on Temple Square, and went to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Concert featuring Alfie Boe and Tom Brokaw. I cannot even begin to tell how absolutely amazing the MoTab concert was. Alfie Boe was the guest singer and he was so powerful. He sang "Bring Him Home", one of the songs he is most famous for (also one of my top favorite songs of all time from Les Mis) and it was BEAUTIFUL. It was by far the best I had ever heard the song and it was just so moving. He also sang several Christmas songs with MoTab accompanying him. And then to make things even better they told the story of World War II Candy Bomber Gaile Halverson and he made an appearance as well. The story was so touching and they had real candy parachutes come from the ceiling and it was seriously one of if not the best performances I have ever been to. Not only that, you could feel the spirit so strongly. President Monson came in the room and everyone (all 21,000 people) fell completely silence and stood as he walked in. What an amazing experience and a wonderful night of feeling the spirit so strongly through music and celebrating the upcoming holiday of Christmas and celebrating Christs life.

In the oh-so-famous picture spot on temple square. Me and Derek above and Pace and Amanda below.

We were sad to leave such a great getaway and vacation but it was good to come home too. Derek and I are doing great. The semester is over for both of us and we get a couple weeks break from the stresses of classes. I have one more week of teaching preschool and then it will also be my Christmas break. If I don't talk to you before then Merry Christmas to all of you! Until next time. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Thanksgiving, Christmas Time and Much Much More

A lot has happened the past few weeks ... yes its been a few weeks since I've posted anything on here... and I'm sorry. So we are just going to rewind a little bit and take us all back to our Thanksgiving break. We spent the Thanksgiving break going back and forth between spending time with my family and Derek's family. It was our turn with Derek's family for Thanksgiving though so actual Thanksgiving day was spent there. It was yummy. We had a lot of great food and had a lot of fun just relaxing and chilling with family. Everyone in Derek's family was able to be there (except Alan obviously because he is on his mission) but here are a few pictures from that night that we took.

We spent an entire day in St. George with my family. We went down and the ladies went to Santa's Workshop craft fair while the men went with the kids to Defy Gravity. A ginormous bounce house with floors and walls covered with trampolines and blow up toys. The kids absolutely loved it. Derek had a lot of fun himself...and a really good work out from all that jumping. After that we all went and had lunch at Justin and Jen's house and then sat and talked and visited while the kids watched a Christmas movie in their new theater room. 

Remember our big discussion on the shoe horn and pill box? Well, our great friends that we do a lot with, Pace and Amanda Clarke, over the Thanksgiving break brought us a fun treat. This is what they looked like decorated. 

If you can't tell what it is it is a pair of shoes and a shoe horn on Derek's cupcake, and on my cupcake it is a pill box. Random? Yes. Funny? Yes. Thoughtful? Yes. Delicious? Yes. We thought it was a good laugh and then we all visited together and ate our yummy treats. 

Also a important event that happened over the Thanksgiving break: 
I was kind of teasing Derek a little bit about his shoe horn feddish when we were with all of his family at Thanksgiving. As we were discussing and having this argument once again of pill box vs. shoe horn, Derek's dad brings out from the other room an early Christmas gift for Derek and what is it? A shoe horn. But not any old shoe horn. One that belonged to and was built and hand laithed by his Grandpa Payne. So it made Derek's day and it was sentimental. Win-win situation and he has stood by his word and has used it everyday. I still think a pill box is more useful, but I am glad that he now is happy with his shoe horn and I am happy with my pillbox. 

With the Thanksgiving break over we have started to decorate and felt the Christmas spirit around here quite a lot lately. All our shopping is done for family and each other. We have put up and decorated our Christmas tree (which took about 5 minutes...its not a very big tree). I made a cute new wreath that is hanging on our front door. And we are both excited for Christmas to come. Here are a few pictures of our newly Christmas decorated home. 

For one of Derek's classes they were all in charge of designing a t-shirt and then at the end of that they got to print their t-shirt design as well as anyone else in the class that they would like to have done. Derek came home with a new shirt for me and a new shirt for him. Here they are. Derek designed the blue t-shirt that was his. They are both supposed to be humerus and probably have some slightly nerdy graphic design jokes involved but I like them. 

We also had Friendsgiving this past weekend. It is the 2nd annual Friendsgiving and we have loved the tradition. What is Friendsgiving you might ask? Well its Thanksgiving with Friends. We all bring something and have a second Thanksgiving feast one week later after the actual Thanksgiving holiday. We had a lot of fun attending that. 

This past week at church a member of our high council took some free Christmas pictures of couples and gave them to us if we wanted to make Christmas cards or anything like that. This is one of the pictures he took of us. 

And with all of that said, Happy Holidays to all of you and good luck with finals and all of your many work endeavors and such until the Christmas break. We will be doing some big final projects around here at our house to get things turned in for the end of the semester and before the Christmas break.