Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Festivities

We had a fabulous Christmas.  Lots of things happened in just a few short days, so I've put together a list of the highlights.  Sorry this post is ridiculously long.  If the longness offends you, you are free to close your browser and flee from your computer.

Robyn made Stollen this week.  Stollen is a traditional German bread that is filled with deliciousness.  Robyn's grandmother is from Germany, and when we were visiting her last Christmas, Robyn made sure to get Stollen lessons so that she could learn the art.  She did it this year without any assistance, and I was very impressed due to the deliciousness of the final product.

Looking cute while she works.

Forming the dough.

Selfie with the final product.

Breakfast with Megan and Graham and Grahams
On Christmas Eve we went over to Megan and Graham's (Robyn's sister and her husband) place to have breakfast.  We did the traditional (for the Wrights) crepe breakfast and it was really good.  Robyn's other sister was there with her 1 year old twins.  Here are a few pictures from that morning.
Will was getting sick, so Megan let him entertain himself with the ipad.  He kept sneezing on it.  It was simultaneously adorable and disgusting.

Robyn likes babies.
He kept trying to crawl over the box.  Around it would have been way easier.

Doing a little dance number.

Last year we started a tradition of sending Snapchat pictures of each other (and especially of Graham).  I promised my niece we would continue the tradition, even though she was in California and we were not.

The first snapchat is away!
However, I quickly realized that Robyn's sister and her husband have the last name of Graham, so we could also snapchat pictures of them.

Teance didn't disappoint.  She may not have had any Grahams to snapchat, but she shared the love with plenty of selfies.

My brother Justin even got in on it.
Robyn made sure to send snapchats mocking me.

Christmas Morning
Christmas morning I woke up early and couldn't go back to sleep.  Normally, Robyn is an early riser on Christmas.  It's the one day of the year that she doesn't want to sleep in, but I had to wake her up.  We exchanged presents at our house and then went outside to shovel the white Christmas off of our driveway before heading to my parent's house to have even more Christmas there.

I put a tiara in Robyn's stocking.  I thought she'd think it was fun and cute.  She was so excited, and screamed, "I get to be a PRINCESS!"  I wasn't expecting that much excitement.

I was surprised to see how big Christmas was at my parent's house.

Zack got lots of ties. 

Justin really liked the beanie he got.  It was made even better by combining it with Robyn's tiara.

All the boys got dinosaur hats.  I think I need to work on my dinosaur impression.

Olive wanted to be a dinosaur as well.  

Near the end of the day, Robyn revealed her secret identity as Elsa.

It was a great Christmas!  I'm just sad it's over.  Maybe we should do it again this week.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

My little helper!

Here is how Jeff helps me clean the house before we have company come over.  We had a tower of boxes that needed to be broken down before we put them in the recycling because we have ordered way too much stuff on Amazon recently.  He is such a good helper!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Muppets and Temple Square

This past weekend we had the opportunity to attend the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert.  We try to attend every year, but we don't always pull it off.  There are so many people that want to attend that they do a random drawing type system, so some years we're able to get tickets and some years we aren't.  This year I really wanted to go because they had the Sesame Street Muppets as special guests.  How cool is that?

We decided to go up early and eat dinner at City Creek followed by walking around Temple Square to enjoy the Christmas lights.

Temple Square was beautiful as always.  We made sure to take some pictures.

Selfies are always important.

I'm pretty sure we take this exact same picture every year.
After Temple square we headed over to the Conference Center where we met Megan and Graham.  There were more selfies to be had while we waited for the show to start.
I'm pretty sure Graham looks exactly like a Muppet. I'm just a Muppet of a man.

Robyn and Megan wanted a discreet picture of the photobomber.

I really enjoyed the concert.  The Muppets were super fun.  But I have bad news.  The puppeteers came out with Muppets on their arms.  It turns out the Muppets are puppets.   I know, I'm as disappointed as you.  My entire childhood was a sham.  But the good news is that Big Bird is real.  He was walking around without any sort of hand inside him.  He's an actual bird.  So you can take solace in knowing that at least he is real.

Also, they had a sing-along with the audience.  I actually sang with the Muppets.  So you might say I'm kind of a big deal.

Afterward, naturally we took more selfies.
This is our selfie with the choir.  They're all walking away, because they hate to pose for pictures.

This was in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.  Don't we just look festive?
We wandered around afterward in search of someplace that would give us hot chocolate.  The Nauvoo Cafe was open, but the lines were thousands of miles long.  We went to the food court at City Creek but everyone there hates money, so they were all closed.

Ultimately, we failed at obtaining hot chocolate, but we succeeded at singing with the Muppets so I would say the night was a success.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Turning 33 on the 3rd!

Well it happened again.  I had a birthday.  I love my birthday.  My family has always tried to make me feel so special on my birthday.  This year was no different.

It all started on the Sunday before my birthday,  We flew in from Washington that afternoon and then drove straight to Jeff's parent's house for family dinner.  Jeff's mom always makes a special birthday dinner for each person's birthday.  She made me chicken and potatoes and had an apple pie for dessert.  Then his generous family gave me a bunch of presents.  Jeff's family is so sweet.

Next, was my actual birthday on Wednesday December 3rd.  My Nike Fuel Band was the first one to wish me a happy birthday.  The first time I tapped it to see what time it was it said happy birthday! How cool is that?

At work my principal put a sign and a balloon on my door.  The kids and teachers wished me a happy birthday all day long.  My sister also brought me lunch and I got to hang out with her and her two cute little boys.

After work I came home and face timed with most of my family.  My mom sent me a beautiful and really warm sweater.  I then gave myself a manicure and treated myself to relaxation before Jeff got home.

Jeff ordered in Chinese food and brought me flowers and ice cream sandwiches.  How sweet is he?!  The rest of the night was quiet and relaxing.  Just what I wanted for my birthday.

The great news is that it isn't even over yet!  Tomorrow I will be going over to my brother's house to celebrate again!  My sister-in-law has a brother (who is a good friend of mine too) and his birthday is exactly a week after mine so we will be celebrating both birthdays.

I think that families make birthdays the best!  Here is to another year full of adventure!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving Morning in the Pacific Northwest

This year we spent Thanksgiving in the greater Seattle area.  Robyn's grandfather lives up here, so we thought it would be fun to come spend a few days with him to celebrate the holiday.

I got up early Thanksgiving morning and wanted to do some exercise.  I figured I would allow myself to eat pretty much whatever I wanted on this trip, but that made it that much more important for me to get plenty of exercise.

Of course, it's not hard to feel motivated to get out and exercise when I'm in such a beautiful area that needs exploring.  I set out to go on a walk, without a destination in mind.  I quickly discovered lots of trails that lead deep into the wilderness.  Clearly these trails weren't going to explore themselves.  By the time I got back to the house, I had walked 7 miles, climbed over rocks, scrambled through trees and almost fell in the Puget Sound.

Here are a few of the things I saw along my way.

I found lots of dirt roads that lead into wilderness.  Most of them turned out to be really long driveways.  But I explored them anyway.  That's how I roll.

I found Lois Lane.  I took a picture so I could show superman.

I could see the Sound through the trees.  All I ever wanted was to hike down to it.

I encountered lots of boggy wilderness that did not want to let me through.
I thought the mossy trees were really pretty.
Anyone who knows me knows I need to touch everything.  Moss is no exception,

After several attempts to get down to the water, I found a place that I could actually get through.  It turns out that getting through to the water can be very dangerous, due to the temptation to eat delicious animals.
Stupid fat people pollute the water and make once delicious animals yucky.
  When I finally made it down to the water, I was slightly disappointed.  I was hoping for a beach that I could run along or something.  What I found was really slippery mud that almost made me fall in the water 2 different times.  But at least this precious little tree stump was here to stand stoic and alone.

After finding the Sound, I ventured into several other lost and forbidden paths.  I was amazed how thick the trees were.  I was within 50 feet of a major road when I took this picture:

 Look how thick the trees are!  The only disappointing thing about the wilderness was that I didn't see a single Sasquatch.  If there's one thing the Syfy channel has taught me, it's that you're guaranteed to see a Sasquatch in the Pacific northwest.  I'm beginning to think that the Syfy channel deceived me.

Maybe we can't trust the Syfy channel.  But we can definitely trust Steven Spielberg, right?  If there's one thing that the Jurassic Park movies taught me, it's that when you see ferns, you're guaranteed to see dinosaurs.
I see ferns, but there was not a single velociraptor.  Disappointing.
The scariest animal among the ferns was little old me.
 As I was walking the various paths, it was fun to pretend I was in complete solitude in unexplored nature.  Of course, the fact that every path ultimately ended in a secluded house kind of ruined that illusion.
These people probably live off the land.  They're so secluded they probably don't even know that there are other people a few hundred yards away.

 One path didn't end with a house, it just ended with this tree who, true to its claim, has never littered at my house.

Eventually I wound up on a trail that actually ran along the water's edge.  I took this picture looking out at the water.

 Soon after that, I realized that I needed to head back if we were going to make it to Thanksgiving dinner on time.  Beautiful nature is fun, but being late for the most important meal of the year is no fun.  I headed back, but that just means that I need to do more exploring later.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Preciousness in the Snow

Something amazing happened this week. Robyn had fun, IN THE SNOW!  I know, it's hard to believe.  I wouldn't believe it myself if I wasn't there.  But let's not get ahead of ourselves.  She didn't build a snowman, or throw a snowball, or really do anything snow related other than walking through it.  But she was standing on top of snow and she was smiling.  Miracles do happen.

The key to this miracle was our good friend Jackie.  She recently got engaged to her Italian lover Giuseppe.  She invited us to go hiking, and clearly we weren't going to turn down valuable Jackie/Giuseppe time.  The location of the hike was chosen as Big Springs in Provo Canyon, which just so happens to be the place where Robyn and I got engaged.

Naturally, we made everyone stand in the spot where we got engaged so that we could take a precious picture.
These precious people had their preciousness increase ten fold when they stood in such a precious spot.

Jared was the photographer, so he made sure to take a selfie.  We made sure to photobomb his selfie.
We've been up there many times, but we've actually never hiked it in the snow.  That may be due to the fact that getting Robyn to go anywhere in the snow is difficult, but look how cute she is.

It's like she's twice as cute in the snow.

Everyone else had their normal cuteness level in the snow.
It was a great hike.  We had lots of fun.  My shorts were perfect winter hiking attire.  However, something really strange happened when we got home that evening.  Apparently I got more chilled than I realized.  Once I was inside our warm house, my body suddenly decided that it was cold.  I FELT COLD!  I don't even know what's happening to me.  I put on some sweats and I EVEN WORE SOCKS!

Take a good look.  It may never happen again.
Don't worry.  An hour later the world returned to normal and I put on shorts and let my feet go free.  But for a brief moment, I was in the Twilight Zone.  It was a strange place indeed.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Halloween isn't so bad.

So anyone who knows me knows that I really dislike anything that is scary.  I get nightmares way too easily so a whole holiday spent trying to be scary has never been one of my favorites.  That being said... Ta Da!
Sleeping Beauty also known as Princess Arora.  She is my favorite Disney Princess!

This is the only reason I enjoyed Halloween this year.  Normally I am not a fan of the holiday, but this year I made sure to dress up as something great.  I even had a little girl at school stop in the hallway, and with a huge smile, said,"Hello Arora".  That made my day.  Oh and now I also have awesome sparkly gold shoes.  The rest of the day was ok.  Jeff worked from home so I got to see him earlier then I normally do.  He took care of all the trick or treaters while I watched "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown".  For it being my least favorite holiday I had a pretty great day.