Monday, January 12, 2009

Snowshoeing Photo Shoot

Being unemployed has its perks. It's not often that I get to go snowshoeing with two of my best Badger buds. I am thrilled that Christine and Elise are nearby. Christine has become my running buddy and Elise encourages me to work on my gourmet cooking skills. (Today we attempted pumpkin rolls. Needless to say, they weren't worthy of a blog post. Will termed it, "a baking disaster.)
Back to the adventure . . . it was an overcast Friday morning. Three girls were just aching to see the mountains and this is a travelogue of their journey.
This is base camp, Mount Timpanogos trailhead. Destination: Stewart Falls. Actual course: Somewhere along that mountain yonder. (Good thing we never found Stewart Falls. I learned today from Elise that we would have crossed two avalanche zones to get there.)
We had an individual photo shoot at the amphiteater. Surprisingly, snowshoes grip rock walls pretty well. Elise looks stunning in her hot-pink snowcap.

Christine is sporting a side ponytail so she wouldn't "look like a boy". Secret: She was wearing boys snowpants. Elise and I are just too good at looking tough. The hoods are intimidating, I know.

Even though it just looks like we took pictures, we fit in a fair amount of snowshoeing. I got to hear all of Elise's love confessions, and relive my days of being single. Hooray for friends!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A New Year Makes a New Man

For New Year's Eve, we babysat my almost-niece, Ana. She was eagerly watching out the window for us when we came to pick her up. We took her over to the Lehmitz's to hang out with all the cousins. After about an hour of playing with Barbies, she was ready to go to our house. We stuck it out until midnight watching movies, playing games, and eating treats. Like Ana, I was ready to go home at ten, I definitely felt old.
Will and I pretended to be parents for a little while. We woke up and made banana pancakes, gave Ana a bath, drew pictures, colored Disney princesses, and for the grand finale--we went to the park.
This is Ana as a little cook, mashing the bananas for the pancakes.

Will threatened us with snowballs, but we called a truce and he quickly rekindled his friendship with Ana.
For the New Year, we made a new man. Since I was the only one with gloves, the structure of our human was up to me. After careful deliberation, we decided that we would stick with the basic anatomy of a snowman, three balls stacked on top of each other. Ana was very adept with the detail work. Since we are eco-friendly, we used all found materials. Leaves were obviously the best choice for hair. To keep the leaves fashioned to his head, we had to devise a yammukah for him to wear. So our snowman quickly evolved into a Jewish snowman. Naturally, he had to have a beard, and pine needles were the perfect facial hair.

Unfortunately, our Jewish man lasted for a short time, he met his untimely death when Ana started pulling his beard out one strand at a time, and poking his eyes out with her pudgy fingers. No memorial service will be held.

After the snowman's demise, (I regret that we never named him) I introduced my mom, Ana, and Will to Tim Tam Slams. Basically, you take a fudge-covered grasshopper cookie, bite off little tidbits of the opposite ends, and suck hot chocolate throught the cookie until the inside becomes a supple mass of yumminess. What better way can you think of to kick off the new year?

The First Christmas

Despite being very poor, Will and I had a grand old time celebrating our first Christmas together as newlyweds. It was fun establishing some of our own family traditions. In an effort to focus on Christ throughout the month of December, we decided to read the words of latter-day prophets. Talks by President Monson, Hinckley, and Benson were pretty easy to come by, but when we reached Harold B. Lee, it got a little bit harder to find accesible writings from the earlier prophets. Nevertheless, it was fun to read their testimonies of our Savior and learn a little bit more about each prophet.
As part of our nightly ritual, we lit two candles and then expressed why we were grateful for the Savior that day. Lighting the candles and bearing our testimonies about the Savior was a really neat experience that I hope to share with our children. I enjoyed the chance to ponder about the Lord, Jesus Christ, and the many roles He plays in our lives.
As far as the as the actual celebrating goes, we headed up to So Jo to spend Christmas Eve with our families. It was kind of helter skelter trying to get my family on the same schedule, but we made do. Even though Justin and Mya were spending the holidays in Wyoming, we were able to see them right before Christmas. We spent Christmas Eve with the Boren's and Christmas with the Lehmitz's.
We gave the gift of practicality to my dad--he loves clean cars, so he was thrilled about the detailing tools we gave him.

Sarah drew us a beautiful picture of the Manti temple, and being the art teacher that I am, I gave her a drawing book to help fine tune those skills.
We really enjoyed being with Dad, Jenifer, Jess, Megan, and Sarah on Christmas Eve. We had a delicious meal and played a rousing game of dominos. We only wish that Blake, Jasmine, Ana, Justin, Mya, and Kell could have been there with us.

The Lehmitz celebration was equally entertaining. Christmas morning was filled with presents, presents, sweet rolls, and more presents. It took us three hours to open them all! Sterling and Steven looked dashing in their new pajamas. I think I'll have to make a pair for Will next Christmas so he doesn't feel left out.
Santa was good to us as well. We finally got a dvd player so we can watch movies on the tv instead of Will's laptop.

And Will got a drill so he can feel like a real man.
My coveted present was Adobe Creative Suite 4--Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, and Acrobat. Just when all hope dissipated, I opened up the last present. Will definitely spoiled me. Now I just have to re-teach myself how to use them. I'm really excited to create our wedding album!

Overall, Christmas was fantastic. Blizzard conditions persisted Christmas day, and we risked our lives driving to Grandma Sally's to see some more family. Poor Will was white-knuckling it the whole way home. Our car was splattered with ice fragments and we were crawling at 35 miles an hour on the freeway. We were snowed in at the Lehmitz's and got to spend an extra day hanging out with them. Will's extended family spends a lot of time together over the holidays so their house was filled with cousins and aunts and uncles. I enjoyed getting to know them better and spending time with the family.