Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmastime!

I love Christmas. It's that simple. I love the music, the treats, shopping for presents, ... And this year, our Christmas celebration lasted all week. It was pretty awesome. It was amazing how spoiled we were. We opened presents from my parents one night when we were both off work. Here's a couple pictures of our early Christmas present opening.

Marcus has already watched a bunch of these shorts :)
Yay for new clothes I can wear at work!
I'm super excited about this pan-- we've finally finished our Calphalon plan collection. I'd recommend them to anyone. You can get them at Bed Bath & Beyond. :)
A personal favorite:
I have more pictures of our exciting present opening extravaganza, but I won't post more. We had an incredible time visiting my family in Arizona last week and we had a lot of fun opening presents.

We met up with Marcus' Oma and Opa at In-n-Out one night and exchanged some presents. His oma always makes pillowcases, so we got some new ones that match our new Hardy decoration, which I love:
And our Christmas continued to actual Christmas Eve. We drove up to Salt Lake after work to spend time with Marcus' family. His mom made their traditional clam chowder dinner with salad and homemade artisan bread. It was really good. Marcus was so excited for the chowder-- he'd been talking about it for awhile. I should've taken pictures of the food! After dinner, Marcus' dad read out of the scriptures.
And then it was present time! The Hardys open their presents on Christmas Eve, which I thought was weird at first, but it was fun! Here are a couple random pictures of presents. We were so excited for everything we were given (and like I said, were spoiled beyond belief), but I'm only posting a few pictures here.

This is Marcus literally pointing me out for breaking the rules. We said he didn't get a Christmas present because he'd already used up his budget, but I gave him a present anyway.
He realized what it was-- his old jeans!
He kept laughing at how I had finally given back the jeans I'd stolen from him (because they were torn or too small) all cut up and sewn back together ;)
Aww-- he loved his blanket.
And here is what it looks like:
A HUGE thank you goes to his Oma for all her help teaching me to use my sewing machine and make this throw!!!!

I thought this picture was hilarious. The toilet seat covers were part of his present.
Marcus made this book for his dad in his design class out of an interview he did on his dad. It was pretty amazing.
Marcus cheated too-- he got me a kindle.
I was so excited!
We received so many amazing and thoughtful presents. And it was fun to give ours. Christmas Day entailed a lot of relaxing. It was nice to sleep in and spend time together. Thank you so much to our wonderful families for the gifts and fun holiday!!!

I hope you all had a great Christmas... and have an awesome New Year!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

My 2010 New Year's Resolution... check!

Last January, I decided that I wanted a New Year's Resolution I could accomplish. There were definitely times with this one that I thought it would never happen, but somehow I managed. My goal was to read 25 books in 2010. Seriously, 25. Some may think that's nothing, but hey, it was my resolution. And that number was a stretch given my past reading records. I may have been crazy about turning in book reports while in school, but I only had to read a couple books each year. Of these 25, I had only read four of these books before, so I had a lot of fun picking out new books... and reverting to my beloved Harry Potter series.

Here they are, in chronological order, my 25 books from 2010:

I LOVE HARRY POTTER, just in case you didn't already know :)

Amy bought me this book before she moved back to West Virginia. I miss her :(

No jokes, please

This was a Valentine's Day present from Marcus' mom. It was fun to read about my personality vs. Marcus'. Everyone should read it.

This was part of my ward's book club. It's a beautiful story.

I can't believe I had never read it before now. It was the chosen book for Canyon Crest Elementary's reading week.

Yep, more Harry Potter. Love it.

Ms. Duncan gave this (and several others) to me for helping in her class at the beginning of the year. They were reading it, but I wasn't there to hear the end.

We love A Good Year, the movie

My first experience with Nicholas Sparks.

Yes, a sewing book. But I read it straight through for tips, like a chapter book.

I couldn't find the actual cover of the Saints at War book I read, but it was focusing on Christmas.

Watch Castle on ABC. So fun.

A recommendation from people in my homeward. Good choice.

Come on, I had to know the stories behind the name :) And it was a quick read to help me get closer to my goal of 25.

Seriously, I'd never read this one before either. I was glad I read it right after The Hardy Boys because they use a lot of the same Old English words, so I remembered what some meant :)

I seriously tried out another Steinbeck of my own free will. I think I was hoping his books weren't as sad as I remembered from high school. Ha-- what was I thinking?!

These books really are a lot of fun. And apparently there's a tv series about them!

Yes, I made it all the way through.

My mom recommended this when Brian received his mission call, but I hadn't read it yet. I met the author at a book signing and decided to read the signed copy I bought for Brian :) It's a very interesting story, especially since it's about Mike Ramsdell's experience in Russia!

There you have it, all 25. I did it-- before Christmas was over :) And reading will be even more exciting with the awesome Kindle Marcus bought me for Christmas! Hooray. And don't worry, Christmas post(s) to come!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The perfect place to be in December...

Marcus and I went to Arizona this weekend to see my family before Christmas. It was a very fast trip, but luckily the weather held out for us-- it was so nice. I loved how you could just take an extra sweatshirt with you outside. Perfect. I don't have pictures of everything we did, but I have some highlights. I wish I had taken pictures with the Shields, but I may get another chance while they're here in Utah. And if you could take pictures in the airport, I definitely would have documented Marcus' experience with security given he left a pocket knife gadget in his backpack... haha. Anyway, I do have pictures from the Desert Botanical Gardens where they have luminaries set up for Christmas. We'll start there...


You can't see how many luminaries there were in these pictures, but you'd be amazed. Plus, they all have real candles in them! It must have taken hours to light them. My mom kept walking through as I tried to take this picture :)
And I had to add a crazy cactus picture.
A group (Campanillas del Sol) was playing bells inside-- pretty cool!
This is Marcus' favorite picture of the night:
This guy is a world percussionist, so we listened to him for awhile too:

Marcus and I went with my dad and grandpa to see Trevor play basketball in Wickenburg. His team is fun to watch-- there's definitely a lot of personality on the court :)






And they won the tournament!!!

We also went to Trevor's last Christmas piano recital. I don't think I had been to a piano recital in a long time-- it was fun.

Somehow I convinced my parents to open their Christmas gifts from us, but Trevor would not open his early.
Allegro must have wanted a present too...
I'm guessing Charlie liked us being in Arizona. Or if he didn't, he liked to lay on our laundry piles. Ha.
Right before we left town, we have the privilege to meet Claremont, the friendly neighborhood rooster. Seriously, a rooster in Phoenix.
It was a quick trip, but I'm glad we went. It was really nice to warm up a bit, and it was just in time. We got back late Monday night, right before tons of snow hit Provo.