Monday, December 14, 2009

My Sweet Thing & The Festival of Lights

Yep, that's my sweet thing, helping me make...sweet things? :) (Keith Urban's new of my favorites...)

We did our holiday baking Saturday. I guess it's officially tradition now. We always did it with my mom growing up--some of my favorite holiday memories are of baking all day (fudge, spritz cookies, sugar cookies, wedding cookies, peanut brittle, toffee, gooey caramel bars, etc, etc, was an all day shin-dig), and then delivering the delicious looking plates to neighbors that night. Brian and I decided to give it a go last year, and had a this year, we baked up a storm again, with a slightly modified "menu" (I just don't think some things would be the same gluten-free and didn't want to experiment on neighbors and friends :)) We made chocolate cookies with peppermint frosting, melt aways, caramel corn, fudge and divinity...and had lots of fun doing it. Brian was a dish washing extraordinaire--I think the record was the same pan washed 5 times throughout the course of the day. (It was kinda fun to run to the sink with the offending saucepan and say, "It's baaaaaaaaaaaaack" in my best, "You really really want to wash this pan because you think I'm incredibly cute and not at all obnoxious" voice...)

But perhaps more impressively, I was taking care of getting some cookies in the oven, and turned around to find he had expertly frosted and sprinkled the chocolate cookies! They looked better than the ones I'd done!! (Between that and him expertly dying my hair on Tuesday... hmmm... :) ) We wish you were all nearby so we could bring you a plate... both because we love you, and because the leftovers are wreaking havoc on our waistlines! Please say this picture tempts you into traveling the many miles to DC to save us from our pre-holiday binging!!! ANYONE?!!! No takers? Darn. We're in trouble.

Last night we kicked the festivities up a notch at the Washington DC Temple Festival of Lights with our good friends the Jacksons. Gorgeous. It was a really foggy, misty night, and the lights and temple looked phenomenal. If you're in the area, you HAVE to go!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! We hope you have an amazing holiday season. And for those of you in out... here we come! :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Finally...a date night.

Ok. So I shouldn't say finally. We do pretty well at making sure we spend lots of time together--chances are, if you see one of us, you see the other. In fact, some people have begun to wonder if we're the first ever male/female set of conjoined twins. :) I made that up. But I wouldn't be too surprised (if they thought that, not if we WERE the first ever set...I WOULD be pretty surprised by THAT). But with all the hustle and bustle, and holiday travel, and online shopping (I've become a hermit), and ward mission stuff, and ward marriage class (no...we're not in therapy, although that would be a good story. Everyone in our ward is supposed to take the class, and the last 7 weeks it was our turn) we were just feeling like a lot of our time lately hasn't been out and about with each out and about we went this Friday. Which brings me to the Top Ten Reasons to Visit the National Harbor at Christmas time:

#1-The big ole gorgeous tree overlooking, well, the National Harbor. :)

#2-The fun parking adventure. Ok, actually parking was a breeze, or could've been. We knew we weren't supposed to pay the outrageous Gaylord Resort parking price, so we headed into another garage, then decided to u-turn and see if the other garage was even cheaper (which is about where Brian said, "Oops...there's a police man behind me"), then saw a meter and u-turned to take that spot only to find it was more expensive than the garage (this is about where I said, "Um...isn't that the same police man?"), then u-turned to head to the other garage, then found that the other garage was the same price but farther, then u-turned to go back to the original garage (I was giggling too hard to point out the policeman...who was obviously in a very Christmasy, no-ticket mood), then missed the turn in to the other garage and u-turned... ANYWAY. You must try it.

#3-The first and only Peeps & Co store. We highly recommend spending the $6 it costs to fill up a tiny bag of Mike and Ikes. The green apple and raspberry ones are to DIE for.

#4-The Sizzle Meter in the Peeps store. Apparently Bri is "Smokin'" and I'm "Fiery"...ah cha cha! youch!

#5-Walking up to the Gaylord Resort and totally feeling like you're sneaking in illegally because there's no WAY someone as un-posh as us can go in THERE... it's PHENOMENAL! All the hotel room doors face out into an indoor atrium that has trees and a creek and little Old Town looking buildings... awesome. And it was DECKED out for Christmas, complete with a glass, 7,000 pound tree hanging from the ceiling.

#6-The choir at the Gaylord.

#7-The indoor fountain show set to Christmas music. Kinda like a little mini-Bellagio shin-dig. Really cool.

#8-Watching the little kids in this picture shriek, and I mean SHRIEK, with delight every time the fountains shot up. As soon as the water died down, they'd get as close as they could, and go into spasms the next time it went up like they were totally shocked it would do that... :)

#9-Walking along the pier you can pick up some pretty good looking boys, like this one here...

#10-Hmm....well...that was anti-climatic. I really only have 9 good reasons...didn't plan that one out very well, now did I. But uh... go. Just go. :)

Also, totally unrelated side note (which I know is totally unexpected coming from me...a random interjection?! NEVER!!) I recommend the DC temple in the first snow storm of the year. Beeeeeeeeeautiful.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Double the Fun

Whew...this post is a little late in coming, but everything around here (including the list of things to get done) seems to be doubling! I used to have one piece of paper with things neatly listed: "Order Brian's Christmas presents... Make doctor appointment...Make dentist appointment...Send out Christmas cards...Get visiting teaching report in...yada yada yada ya..." But, due to some recent events, I've started a second sheet of paper, and the listS seem to be growing instead of shrinking! List number two includes things like, "Send in contract for wedding show...Order brochures for wedding show...Fix SN blog... yada yada ya." Yes, come Jan. 2, I will be exhibiting in my first ever Bridal Extravaganza at the Grand America in Salt Lake. I am super excited, and a little nervous, and a bit scared of failure...but mostly just super busy. The days are flying by.

ANYWAY...on to more important things.

My list isn't the only thing doubling around here... Since August, the number of mine and Brian's nieces/nephews has doubled!! Yes, before then we had Sienna (smart little cookie who gives amazing hugs)...

Miya (2 year old ballerina and concert singer extraordinaire)...

and Kinsey (smiley little baby with the chubbiest, most lovable thighs you have ever seen).

Then, WHAM little Londyn joined the mix (feisty little thing with eyes that twinkle when she smiles)... ...followed shortly by Tre (baby prodigy who was able to roll himself over from the second he arrived) ...

...and NOW...announcing the arrival of adorable little baby Lila!!! Isn't she sooooooooo cute?! (She's Sienna and Miya's little sister, in case you were wondering!)

Not bad for 4 months work, eh? A big thank you to all our siblings for doubling our fun!! :)

That being said, you can imagine how Brian and I spent our Thanksgiving holiday in South Carolina. With four cute, entertaining nieces, there was never a dull moment! :) We played games, watched jungle gym tricks, threw footballs, watched singing performances (if Miya EVER loses that sweet little chipmunk voice I will bawl my eyes out), and snuggled lots. We had a good time with the grown-ups too, and enjoyed lots of good food and some gorgeous weather.

And of course, there was more than enough football. I spent Saturday with the boys at the Gamecocks vs. Tigers game, where (thanks to my good luck...ha ha) South Carolina won their arch rivals for only the third time in like 12 years! (And I got quite the nasty, half-face sunburn). Then that night the Cougars took out Utah (barely, but we won't complain). Not bad as far as football goes.

So, a big thank you to Brian's family for all the fun! We really enjoyed ourselves and appreciate all you did for us.

Whew...this has gotten long, and my list is probably growing longer as I type, so I'm off! But we hope you all had a very Happy Thanksgiving! And don't forget...Santa's elves are now officially watching!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like...

CHRISTMAS!!! Today was one of those days that was busy from start to finish. My legs and back have that "been at Lagoon" all day ache. But I'm not complaining. It was a really fun type of busy. First, I plugged in the tree that Bri and I decorated last night. Isn't she so pretty and sparkly? :)

Then I put up our Christmas garland:

And when the house was sufficiently festive, I set to work making my first ever Thanksgiving dinner. We get to go to South Carolina to visit Brian's family for the holiday, but with the gluten-free stuff, we figured we'd make everybody's life a little easier and pack a dinner for me. On the menu: Herb roasted turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, candied yams, green bean casserole, biscuits, yogurt jello and blueberry cheesecake. Everything was homemade, and I have to be honest...I went into it feeling like I had NO idea what I was doing. But after lots of calls to my mom, it all ended in a pretty yummy feast, if I can pat myself on the back a bit. I was excited to have done it! And Brian was thrilled about his "manly rite of passage". :)

It really was quite scrumptious, and worth the achy legs...and calories. :) Happy holidays everyone...thanks for humoring me. :)

Today I'm thankful for:

1-Flights to South Carolina, and missing out on the 11 1/2 hour drive back in traffic (thank you Danna and Larry!!)

2-A mom who's creative, and taught me to love to create. She's a gourmet cook, does amazing holiday decorating, and came up with some of the most incredible ideas for school projects! :) She definitely passed her love of creating on to me. I'm nothing compared to her, but few things are as fulfilling to me as creating something...whether it's a meal, a Christmas tree or a holiday garland. It makes me so happy. Thanks mom for teaching me to let my imagination fly!

3-A husband who does dishes. All the time. It is rare I ever touch a dish. I'm always grateful for that, but never so grateful as I am today :). What a mess!

Monday, November 16, 2009

More exciting news...

Saturday was a crazy day! Not only did this little guy come along (couldn't resist the chance to display another cute picture)...

...but also... my littlest sister, Meg, got ENGAGED! Pretty exciting stuff, right? A big congratulations to her and Daniel! We look forward to seeing the "oh-so-sparkly" ring and giving Daniel the 3rd degree at Christmas! :) Love you guys!

Our first nephew!

Introducing Tre Jayden, mine and Brian's first and only nephew!

Halee had little Tre early, early Saturday morning, and I woke up that morning to Brian saying, "Meet Tre" and leaning over me with his cell phone displaying the cute picture above (Doesn't he look happy?). We both oohed and ahhed and laughed about the fact that someone in one of our families actually had a boy. We're so excited to have a nephew!

We love you little Tre, and can't wait to meet you in a month! And hugs and kisses to the mom and dad. You sure did make a cute little guy.

Today I am thankful for:

1-Family. I get to go home in one month and see my cute new nephew and niece and I couldn't be more excited! Let the countdown begin.

2-The advances in gluten-free cooking. Really weird one, I know, but you have NO idea how excited I am when I go in a store and see a Betty Crocker brand, gluten-free devil's food cake mix. Sometimes it's nice to not have to do EVERYTHING from scratch. :)

3-Friends. Heavenly Father has always seemed to surround me with people who lift and inspire me--in West Jordan, at BYU, and now here in Virginia. I'm so thankful that I've always had exactly the friends I need placed right where I need them.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Proudest Day of My Life

So, I think our bad luck streak is long over. Tink is back from the shop and looks fantastic, but perhaps more impressive-- check out this Scrabble board:

Yes, with words like "wrongest" (which I really didn't think was a word, but Mr. Webster disagrees and it scored me the bonus bingo), "archives" and "wooded"... let's just say Brian didn't stand a chance! :) baaaaaa ha ha ha. ( for all you Scrabble players out there who are laughing at our pathetic board, just realize that usually when we play, everything is clustered in the middle, and we're trying to build off words like "the" "dog" and "an". :) This beautifully spaced board was quite the accomplishment. And that high score...unheard of for us! )

And that is your current edition of "When 2 Dorks Collide". (Hmmm...maybe it's time to change the name of the blog. What do you think? The Newlywed thing will only be true a little longer, after all.... hmmm. Wait for it...wait for it...)

OH...and one more thing. My good friend is doing a special thing on her blog in honor of Thanksgiving. Each day, she's posting three things that she's grateful for. Her blog has been making me so happy every time I read it, and leaving me feeling so warm and fuzzy (ok...that was cheesy, but true. That's the only way to describe it...), that I thought I'd end each post I make this month by following her lead.

So, today I am grateful for:

1-The founding fathers and their wives. Random and weird, but I've been reading a lot of history stuff lately, and my usually average patriotism has been given a big boost. I can't believe what the founding fathers, and even more so their wives, sacrificed to establish America. Go Adams and Washington!

2-The upcoming holidays. Who doesn't get an extra surge of happiness when they realize they're humming along to a Christmas tune while they shop?

3-An amazing husband who provides for me materially, emotionally and spiritually. I melt when he leaves for work at 6:30 a.m, exhausted but not complaining, and then celebrates (seriously, celebrates) when he gets home and hears I had a crazy unusual morning and was able to sleep in til 10. Boy did I ever luck out with him! :)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Our Boo Fest

A little childish, but that's what we're all about around here... (Brian's amazingly creative idea!)

Apparently I find unibrows IRRESISTIBLE. :) ( actually, weird side note, Brian has the most PERFECT eyebrows EVER. While we were dating, we constantly had this conversation: Me: "So...tell the truth. Do you pluck under your eyebrows?" Him: "No." Me: "Come's nothing to be embarrassed about." Him: "I don't." Me: "You soooooooo do. Nobody's eyebrows are THAT perfectly sculpted. Who taught you? Your sister?" Him: "Whatever Am." Now that we're married, and I'm around him pretty much 24-7, I can attest to the fact that his eyebrows really ARE that perfectly arched naturally. Weird, drawn out moral of the story: we're keeping our fingers crossed that our kids get his eyebrows. :))

Yummy yummy pumpkin stew...

And finally, what do you dress up as when you're going to a couples' Halloween party, and your otherwise amazingly good sport of a husband pouts like a 2 year old when he's told he has to dress up? :) Charlie and his favorite angel.

I get a gun, and he just has to embellish his everyday work outfit a bit. Win win. :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Kinda Scary...

But I guess that's what Halloween is all about! So.... HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

He he he...honestly...still cracking me up like 5 times later... :) Love our moves. So... dorkily us? :) And the best part...we had all those photos on file; didn't take a single one for this video. SPOOKY how photogenic we are, isn't it? :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ooga Boogas

Have you ever seen the movie King Kong? Well, the Big Apple must have felt a little bit of deja vus this week... Ooga Boogas took over the city! And the Capital too!

Yes, my friend Emily and I are Ooga Boogas (quite possibly the only 2 under the sun, although she has children now so I suppose there ARE little 1/2 spawns running around), and yes, we even had a stage of our life where there was a secret handshake/chant (and NO I won't tell you how old we were when all this was going on, because high schoolers really should be more mature than that :)). ANYWAY...point is, Ooga was in town this week, and you can imagine the fun two crazies like us had! With a whirlwind trip to New York, lots of girl time, and site seeing around the capital, it couldn't have gone faster!

Funny moments...let's see...
*Amber getting terrified about a pigeon standing RIGHT on the edge of the empire state building...then realizing they fly. (In all fairness, it is REALLY high up there!)

*Having lots and lots of people do double takes as we sat on a bench overlooking a gorgeous fountain in NYC and took a cheese ball break. Seriously, is it THAT weird for 2 grown women to be eating cheese balls? I guess it WAS a rainy, gloomy day and they ARE pretty neon...but still.

*Amber's hair getting caught on the button of a man's coat as he tried to exit the metro, and him frantically trying to untangle himself. "I hope I can get off the train...I hope I can get off the train..."

*Emily's Mary Poppins umbrella. Practically NOT perfect in every way!

*A waiter who insisted on making us take a giant bite of our pizza while he took a picture...over...and over...and over....until the whole restaurant was watching. At least they had gluten-free cupcakes!

*Realizing after viewing the pictures below that someone needs to pull out their GhostBusters gun and go to town on me and that coat! What was I thinking??? :)

*Introducing Emily to Gilly, Penelope, and the Lawrence Welk Show (if you don't know what I'm talking have a date with Hulu and some Saturday Night Live skits RIGHT this second).

I could go on and on...but I won't. I'll just post some of the best pictures of the gazillions taken this week, and say I miss you already Booga! Thanks for coming!