Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ha ha ha...Little Correction...

Ok, so my cute hubbie just emailed and told me he loved the blog post...but that I had the wrong song! :) Yes, apparently there are TWO cheesy Washington Christmas songs, and the one that WE always hear is NOT the one I used as the whole theme of my last post. Oops. :) And since I DID use it as the whole theme, I can't very well change it! (Call it the annal writer in me :)) So, here's a new post, saying I'm a spaz, and giving you the link for the REAL song. It's kinda a fun little video...ok, so maybe not, but it shows you lots of stuff we see all the time if you're interested! (Believe me...after hearing this song, you'll be soooooooooooo glad I took the time to make the correction. Sooooooooo glad. :))
Christmas Eve in Washington

Christmas Time in Washington

So, there's this song that plays on the Christmas radio station here... a LOT. "Christmas Time in Washington". It's one of those songs that made us laugh really really hard the first time we heard it. It's got all the qualities that make you say, "Huh..." : amazing cheese-head lyrics, a lady singing's got it all. But you know what? It's also one of those songs that we will probably download and listen to every Christmas after we're no longer here because it will remind us of our first Christmas. If you'd like to hear it, turn off our great playlist and click here.

Anyway, it IS Christmas time in Washington, and there are so many fun things to see and do. Before we leave for Utah tomorrow (woo hoo!!!) I thought I'd share how we've celebrated in the capital.

Our first Christmas activity was Mt. Vernon (George Washington's home). They let us take a special tour of the rarely seen third floor, had a giant Mt. Vernon gingerbread house, and even had a Christmas camel on the property. The picture of him isn't the best, but no matter how I baby-talked, or smooched, or flirted (yes, I flirted with a camel) I could NOT get him to have anything to do with us. (I never was much of a flirt...) Fun fun fun!

Next, was the Festival of Lights at the Washington DC temple. We loaded into Sophie with our good friends the Jacksons (sorry it was such a tight squeeze guys!), and were off to see lots of pretty-ness (not a word, is it...). It really was gorgeous.

Our next adventure was to tromp through the city in the freezing cold (seriously, I think we picked the coldest night EVER) to see the two big trees: the Capitol Christmas Tree, and the National Christmas Tree. It was awesome to be there, and worth the cold (my legs DID eventually regain feeling, after all). The Capitol Tree is decorated with homemade ornaments from school kids of the state that provided the tree (Montana this year, I think). It was TALL and skinny, and somehow I loved it.

The National Christmas Tree is in the coolest spot. Turn one way and you see the Washington Monument, turn the other and you see the White House. It has more lights than I thought possible, and it's also surrounded by a walking path lined with 50 smaller trees--one for each state. Lots and lots of lights! And lots and lots of people!

In the midst of our tree hunting, we stopped to warm up in the Botanical Gardens, and were glad we did! They had a really neat exhibit--some guy had carved a cute little village (I think out of cedar because it smelled delicious), and trains were running all through it, was just sweet! The pictures don't do it was like a winter wonderland!

Our last shabang of the season went down last night (huh...kinda sounded like a really bad, amateur wannabe gangster in that sentence...interesting...). We had such a Serendipity moment! Brian took me ice-skating at this cute outdoor rink! It's in the middle of a sculpture garden in the city. It was a gorgeous night (I think in the high 50s!), and I seriously could've believed I was in a movie. We had lots of fun, and even though there were some close calls, we made it through without falling. It was hard to get a decent picture with the lighting and the trying not to fall, but here's the best we could do. Magical!

And there you have it. Christmas time in Washington. Merry Christmas to everyone!

Friday, December 12, 2008

I haven't laughed this hard since...

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thanksgiving Highlights

I can't believe Thanksgiving has come and gone! Next stop...Christmas!

We had a lot of fun in South Carolina over the holiday. The dinner was delicious, which is more than enough for a great Thanksgiving, but there were lots more highlights:

*Our baby, Sophie (usually just Soph), hit 100,000 miles! Brian was pumped. I think this cute, white Saturn deserves a party. Over the past 5 years, she's been part of so many fun memories!

*Brian's mom taught us how to make one of her famous gingerbread houses. The fresh gingerbread coming out of the oven was quite the tasty little perk, too!

*The weather was mellow enough that we went mini-golfing at a cute little outdoor course. I got two holes in one (unheard of in my world!), and Danna and I showed the boys up, coming in first and second. Girlpower! :)

*Black Friday Brian and I headed to the stores and came away with a sleigh full of gifts and goodies. Being out in the hustle and bustle together was a blast.

*Alisha and Matthew (Brian's sister and brother-in-law, parents of the cute girls) drew our names for Christmas and we've decided they should be Santa. Yummy bath products, BYU gear...and (my favorite) a subscription to House Beautiful! To top it off, they let us steal some fresh branches from their tree, which led to a whole new sweep of Christmas decorating when we got home. Thanks Palmers! We love you guys!

*As always, Sienna and Miya, our cute nieces, provided some of the biggest highlights.

Sienna is so beautiful and smart--she read a 64 page children's book to me one night, and wore a pilgrim's hat she made herself to Thanksgiving dinner. She also spoiled us with pretty pictures and notes that are proudly displayed on our fridge.

Little Miya is at that perfect age. She's just learned to talk, and it was soooooo cute to hear her break into Twinkle-twinkle-little-star-old-McDonald-had-a-duck at random moments. She's got impeccable manners ("Dank you Bri Bri"), and dances around endlessly with a build-a-bear that sings Happy Birthday (my favorite...can't believe we didn't get a picture).

Anyway, we love Sienna and Miya!!

We had a great Thanksgiving and hope you all did too! We're so grateful for all of you--we're always talking about how we've both been so blessed throughout our lives with amazing families and friends. So thank you!

Now...bring on the Christmas season!

Monday, November 24, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Ok, so maybe we jumped the gun just a bit, but last week we bought and set up our Christmas tree! We figure we might as well enjoy it, and since we're going to South Carolina for Thanksgiving, we want it waiting for us when we get home in all its sparkling cuteness. I have to say (total cheesehead moment coming...) it was such a blast setting up OUR tree together. Our first Christmas tree. We've decorated lots and lots of trees together over the years, but something about this one being OURS, and doing it as a married couple...ah shucks. :) It was awesome! And now I'm done making you all nauseous...promise... :)

The tree didn't start out looking like much. We were a bit concerned about the Charlie Brown-ness at first. Can we say, "Are there still some branches in the box?" :)

But after some hard work and muscle power... (man I have fun with this kid!!)

...we are pretty pleased with the results! Here's the before (loving the giant spaces) and after:

A couple days ago I went crazy with some fake pine, glittery flowers and lights, and ended up creating this contraption (Please forgive the show-and-tell. Brian and Mom wanted pictures posted, and what Brian and Mommy want, Brian and Mommy get!) :

Anyway, between the tree and garland, we're feeling pretty festive, and sparkly, and glittery, and happy around here! Hip hip hooray for Christmas!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Where Oh Where Can My Hubbie Be?

Warning: This is going to be me whining. I don't particularly care for whiners, but I'm going to be one for just a tiny little minute. Call it isolation induced insanity kicking in--it is midnight and Brian is still at work. Yep...this is his second 15 plus hour day, and I feel horrible for him and, I must confess, a little ornery about it myself. The best part is, that the past couple of times he's called he's said they are doing (wait for it...) NOTHING. Yep. That's right. They are being kept there for hours on end in-case work becomes available. I'm sure it's more complicated than that, but in my ornery state I don't care. :) he he he.

Ok. I'm not THAT bitter. I do still realize that we are incredibly blessed to have such a good job in these tough times. In fact, our life in general, though not perfect, could definitely be a lot worse. I am still rational and grateful enough to realize that. But I just had to vent--and, more importantly, see if there's anyone out there who wants to don camouflage and help me plan and carry out an elaborate scheme to overthrow the crazy management. With me and the girls in charge, not only would there be overtime pay and normal working hours, but I believe there would also be a fair share of tea parties, bring-your-wife-to-work days, and elaborate company balls where the company foots the bill for the cocktail dress. What do you say...who's with me? :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Misbehaving in Williamsburg

This weekend we hitched up the horses, loaded the carriage, donned our wigs and headed to Colonial Williamsburg for a weekend getaway. ( there were no wigs involved. We could have rented colonial costumes, but after the dalmatian stunt, I'll be lucky if I can get Brian to dress up as anything ever again.) We had a really great time. The leaves down there were just beginning to fall, and we loved getting pelted by them as we walked through a revolutionary town, crunching as we went. The colors were still amazing, and being in one of the first colonies was so cool. I hate to rip off my own past post, but as usual the mishaps made the memories, so here we go:

*The first day food seemed to be a problem. All I wanted on the drive down was an Arbys. I'm so easy, right? Wrong. We searched the signs at every exit, only to find no Arbys. Ironically enough, on our way home there were Arbys listed at almost every stop going the opposite direction. :) Oops. The good news is, there was an Arbys not far from our hotel, and after a beef and cheddar, we finished off our hunger with goodies from the 7-11 across the street.

*Ah, our lovely lobby. The night we checked in, we saw it a lot. We were in and out of our room searching for Arbys, going to the car, going to 7-11... I began to think the front desk guy must think we were nuts. So, when we had to leave the room the ka-gillioneth time in search of ice, we took a different hall, and a different elevator that wouldn't lead us past the front desk. It was pretty deserted, actually, as we waited to get back on the elevator.
Me: "I don't want to run into that little front desk guy again...he's gonna think we're crazy."
The elevator arrives. "So, we'll take this elevator in this nice, abandoned part..."
The doors open and I enter, "And....Aughhhhhhhhh!"
Standing in the corner...the front desk man. He looked at me like I was nuts (whether because I gasped and jumped, or because it was the millionth time he'd seen me in 1 hour I don't know), and Brian laughed his head off causing the "These people are nuts" look to become even more pronounced.

*This is me warming my buns by a colonial fire, with charming wood-paneling, in a quaint little tavern, where we had a tasty little lunch, served by a pleasant colonial lady. Now that I've painted a cute, picturesque scene, the real story: It POURED on us Saturday morning. And I mean POURED. Within 10 seconds we were soaked to the point that it seemed dumb to buy a $13 umbrella. So we laughed, sloshed to the tavern, ate lunch and then tried to dry out by the fire. It was quite chilly. :) The good news is, Sunday was gorgeous, and we finished our site-seeing in pure autumnal bliss.

*Take a close look at this picture. Notice anything...amiss? Like the keys dangling from the ignition? :) Yep. Saturday we were walking back to the car when Brian noticed he didn't have his keys. When we got to the car, whala. The first time he's ever locked his keys in the car. We were a bit stressed, but after remembering our road-side assistance insurance clause, we were able to laugh as we waited the half hour for the pop-a-lock guy to come. least it wasn't raining!

*We went on a fun ghost tour of the town Saturday night. Unfortunately, we got put in a group with 9 year old girl scouts. Now, I love kids...and I can usually find them cute regardless of what they're doing...but these Just wow. They were so...questioning? curious? talkative?... that we actually had 2 or 3 families disappear from our group when other tour groups passed by. By the end, our herd was thin, but we still enjoyed ourselves, and learned some great history. (Keep this in mind ladies: If he wears a thick wig, with lots of curls, it's a good sign cuz it means he can afford it. Thus the term, "Big wigs...")

*Just on a fluke, we ventured into the Yankee Candle store in Williamsburg, and boy did we get a treat. Brian lists it as one of his favorite things about the trip--and no, it wasn't because of the yummy candles. It was like Santa's workshop! There was even a room where it snowed! Awesome!

Anyway, we had a great time on our last little fall outing. Now the Christmas bug is beginning to bite... we bought our tree yesterday, and I think ornament shopping is in store for today. Happy Holiday Season everyone!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Have you seen this couple?

Cuz if you have, I want them back!! Yes, the last of my family visits wrapped up bright and early this morning. I hated to drop my parents off at the airport. I got home and blubbered like a baby! :)

Their trip went WAY too fast. Maybe it was because we ran around seeing anything and everything imaginable: Arlington Cemetery, the monuments, the house where Lincoln died, Mt. Vernon, downtown D.C, the Capitol, the Air & Space Museum, the National Archives, the Holocaust Museum, the Natural History Museum, Old Town... plus, we threw in some very tasty dinners (thanks Mom & Dad), a movie night and a rousing game of Battle of the Sexes (we won't say who won...we WILL say that the inventors of the game obviously think boys are dumb because they give them incredibly easy questions :) ). Or maybe the reason their visit went by so fast is because they are truly some of my favorite chums. Not only are they amazing parents, but they are amazing friends. I love hanging out with them, and doing it in D.C. was definitely no exception. Thanks for coming Mom & Dad! We love you guys and already can't wait to see you again!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Six Quirks (It's a novel...proceed with care...when you're bored...) I got "tagged" by my sister Carly. To be honest, I'm not quite sure what that means. Does that make me a slightly old-foagie blogger? :) I think that means I do what she did and list six quirks about me and Brian. Six is child's play, I can assure you :) We're both quite dorky, so this shouldn't be too hard. Maybe I should make everyone who wants to read this post sign an agreement first: "I promise I will still be friends with the 'special' couple, even after I am allowed to see a glimpse of what they really are." Yes...we'll use the honor code. If you keep reading, you're stuck.

#1-I absolutely can not stand having anything touch my inner elbow. Nothing. I don't care if it's a needle, a purse strap, a finger or a hot husband. I get so grossed out. It bugs me enough that when I went in for brain surgery, my biggest concern was not whether they would screw something up while they were in there (let's face it...not much they could scramble), or whether my nose would ever look the was whether they were going to put my IV in "that part of my arm". Yep, it's psychotic. I'm working on it. :)

#2-Breakfast is the meal that 99.999999% of Americans start their day with. "BreakfRast" is the meal that Brian starts his day with. Where it came from, we will never know. I used to try to figure it out, but now...well, it's kinda grown on me. One of his cute little boy quirks. :)

#3-My car is my baby. I'm a liiiiiiiiiiittle bit overprotective, and maybe a liiiiiiittle bit too attached. :) Her name is Tinkerbell (usually just Tink), and ...well, she has feelings. :) She gets parked an insane distance away from store entrances so no one can ding her, and I'm still convinced that she's been throwing attitude since I forced her to leave the comfort of her garage in Utah (although, she does have a parking spot by the woods here, and seems to like having little forest pixie friends to mingle with :) ). Tink needs friends, so I've named quite a few cars, actually: Brian's Saturn is Sophie, my dad's truck is Brutis (had to come up with a manly one to justify stealing his garage spot...a manly truck could deal with the cold... :) )... you get the idea. I'm weird.

#4-Brian is a manly, sports loving, football watching, boys' boy kinda guy. But you should hear him perform broadway musicals. :) Long car trips usually involve at least one soundtrack, and they are definitely not from my collection :). He loves Wicked, Les Mis... (ha ha ha...I just ran out of musicals, and asked him "What other ones do you sing?" He didn't want me to tell his little secret so refused to answer. I said, "I'll start listing stupid ones if you don't tell me." He responded, "Like what? Name one stupid one!" And there you have it. He likes his musicals.)

#5-I LOVE playing practical jokes. Mostly on Brian, for some reason. I've pulled some doozies over the years. For example, when he called one day, I maybe kinda told him I was in the hospital with a ruptured ear-drum, and I even had a remote control beeping sound going in the background, and I told him I'd be permanently handicapped and unable to hear in one ear. He responded, "But you're a cute handicap!" so sweetly...and then hung up on me when I told him I was kidding. Seriously, what about that wasn't funny? Yeah...I agree...none of it was funny. I felt horrible about it after, so since then my "jokes" are few and far between, and mellow. Me: "Guess what? I went shopping at the mall today and kinda went crazy." Him: "Good! What did you get?!!" Me: "Oh. I was kidding." Funny, huh? :)

#6-Brian is definitely NOT a picky eater. He's so fun to cook for. Likes pretty much anything ... except black licorice. He despises it. Won't go near it himself, and if I've been eating it no smooches for me. I didn't realize how bad the aversion was until I was popping jelly bellies into his mouth as I munched and he read earlier today. I snuck a black jelly belly in there after some orange ones (see quirk #5) and he went nuts! He was gagging, and jumping off the couch, and spitting the jelly bean into my hand, and running his mouth under the sink... Apparently he really does hate the stuff. :)

And there you have it. As if you didn't think we were odd enough. Now it's your turn. I tag everyone on my cute little blog list who wants to play! I'd love to learn your scary little quirks!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I can't believe it's here already, but isn't it the greatest holiday EVER?!! (Well, Christmas might be in the running too, but there's something about Halloween. Does that make me the devil? :)) Happy Halloween everyone! I hope it's scary, and spooky and full of trick-or-treaters (our building is locked, so don't take your little costumed cuties for granted!).

We celebrated Halloween a day early around here. Our ward trunk or treat was last night, and we made quite the cute little dog and cat combo if I do say so myself. If you can't tell from the pictures, Brian was THRILLED to be a dalmatian. Simply thrilled. :) (Thanks for being a good sport Bri...well...good-ish sport. :) I've always been a dog lover.)

We had a lot of fun passing out candy to the adorable kids in our ward. And we loved hanging out with our chums, the Jacksons. If you thought our costumes were good, check this out!

Incredible, right? Look at little Bam Bam! He's got white, baby-powdered hair and a stick!! They won a costume award, and rightfully so! They rocked the Flintstones! (Should I have said "bed-rocked" or would that have been a little over the top? :))

After the partying, Brian and I carved our pumpkins. (Yes, that's me in the fuzzy yellow chick robe and cat nose. I forgot these would be appearing to the public. But at least it's my favorite robe. :)) Isn't his...nauseating? :) So creative.

Have an amazingly Happy Halloween!! (And for those of you who get to go to Mom's spooktacular, annual shin-dig tonight, you lucky lucky some amazing food for me while you have the chance. You may not get any next year...after a one year draught, the cranberry wassail, pumpkin stew and old fashioned donuts will be MINE...all mine. Ba ha ha ha!)

PS-Thanks for letting me rip off your cute colored text idea Coo. My holiday post needed a little snazzing up :) Oh, and I'll get to your tag as soon as the craziness dies down! Promise.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Hangin' with Hoola

Well, I just dropped my sister Halee (aka Hoo, aka Hoola...yeah...I have no idea where these nicknames began...) at the airport, and after a week of sister fun, I am all alone! Sniff, sniff:). After Halee and Carly's visits, I have decided that it's official: the Gotberg girls rock :) Halee and I had an awesome time. She's quite the little dynamo--she packs a lot into that little tiny frame, so we ran all over the city doing everything imaginable: Holocaust Museum, all the monuments, the Capitol, a tour of Printing and Engraving, Air & Space Museum, the National Archives, the White House, the Natural History Museum and, of course, shopping at H&M (Brian called about meeting us at the metro in the nick of time. Halee says he saved her from what could've been a fashion catastrophe. Afterall, the longer she looked at the mannequin at the front of the store, the less strange the outfit looked... She was 'this close' to full-length leg warmers and a plaid skirt. :) I say go for it girl...your tiny little self just might "rock it". :)).

We spent our last night on a ghost tour of Old Town Alexandria, led by a lady in colonial garb. It was AWESOME. Very cold, but very worth it.

I already miss all the laughing! (Isn't it fun when you get home from a FULL day of walking around and you are SO tired you'll giggle hysterically over ANYTHING without being able to stop? But I mean, seriously...what if we really did have to drag ourselves around on our stomachs with our elbows the rest of the week because our legs were so sore? Or what if my team mascot for Nuts/Nertz was a yellow fuzzy chick? Or what if my name really was hukalsioulskdoiulkajoljowj? Or what if Halee and I really were the Jefferson and Washington Monuments?)

Those things are all HILARIOUS, right? :) Yeah...let's just say Brian is a very very good sport...

We're so glad you could come Hoola, and love you way too much!!
Love, Bri Bri and The Girl with One Ear (don't was a cheap earring, gangrene accident...)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Coo in the Capital

My sister Carly (aka Coo) came for a visit Wednesday through this morning. We toured all the monuments, shopped, toured Old Town and plain ol' partied (can we say "addicted to computer text twist"? Man we were getting good!). It was a blast! We really, really reeeeeeeeeeeeally didn't want to turn her over to her work people when the time came. Sigh.

Unfortunately, between a lost camera, a camera that lost battery power at the last second, and three cell phones that unexpectedly died ( takes talent), we didn't get any pictures of her at the monuments. But we made up for it during our shopping adventures. (If anyone can pull off a crazy hat, it's the Coockleberry!)

I love you Coo! We miss you already!

Now...bring on the next sister... :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fall Camping

Me and Brian headed into Shenandoah National Park this weekend for our first camping trip as a married couple. I have to say, it was pretty incredible! I even survived a little Joan of Arc episode. :)

We couldn't have picked a better weekend. The leaves were at their peak, and everything looked perfect. That being said, looking back on it, I think it was all the little mishaps and imperfections that made the experience. For example:

*How many Eagle Scouts and Young Women Certified Campers does it take to start a fire? Apparently more than we had with us. It was freezing, and we HAD to have a fire...we're talking survival here. :) But, after gathering the driest wood we could find, we realized it obviously wasn't dry enough. Thank goodness for the Campstore, equipped with fire-starter logs and bags of dry wood. As you can see in the picture above, we eventually got a rip-roarin' blaze going, and the hot dogs and smores were DELICIOUS!

*I mentioned it was chilly...but it's worth mentioning again. It was chilly! For those of you who have emailed telling me what a romantic life we lead, picture this scene: 2 newlyweds, each layered and looking like marshmellows, bundled in their respective, blanket-lined sleeping bags, when one turns to the other to say goodnight: "Brian? Wait...Brian? Where are you? Oh...burrowed down in your sleeping bag...huh. Guess I won't kiss you goodnight."
The answer is muffled and sounds really far away: "Huh? What? Did you say something?"
" Hm. Guess talking is out of the question too... can you at least peek out for a second so I can take a picture?" :) he he he. Priceless.

*The signs that greeted us as we entered the campsite told us we were in bear country, and there were pictures of bears in campsites last week. I was terrified when I woke up at 3 a.m. and heard all kinds of creepy sounds. Did we for sure put all the skittles in the car? Images of getting dragged out of the tent over one green little piece of candy had me going nuts. I would've woken up Brian...but I probably wouldn't have been able to dig him out of his cacoon if my life depended on it. :) I had no reason to fear, though. We ate, slept and hiked part of the Appalachian Trail encountering nothing scarier than Bambi.

*Cleaning up camp doesn't sound fun, but it actually turned out to be quite the bonding experience. Our true dorkiness came out when we high-fived, whooped, and got WAY overly excited about getting the tent, tarp, sleeping bags and air mattress all back into their original packages. Seriously, that's an accomplishment, right?! We thought so!!

Yep, it always seems to be the unexpected, quirky, little things that make an experience worth it. Anyway, here's the pictures! Enjoy the colors! We sure did.