Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas 2008!

There is one day every year where I know exactly what will happen every second of the day! It is the one day a year that my dad takes it slow, but my brother can't sit still! It is the one day a year where wearing new pajamas is the latest fashion and mom doesn't complain that you haven't gotten dressed even though it is 5 in the afternoon. It is the one day a year when ripped wrapping paper and a sea of bows strewn across the house is a beautiful sight and far from what would normally be considered a gigantic mess. That one day a year is Christmas! Quite possibly my favorite day of the year!

Christmas is a wonderful opportunity to spend time with family and to honor the Savior, whose life and death mean so much to us. Allow me a moment to highlight some family Christmas day traditions.

Growing up we stuck to a very strict routine, one that we still adhere to. Christmas Eve we get into our new pajamas and all the siblings head to the basement to watch a Christmas movie, where we all fall asleep together. Sometime around midnight my father rings some bells and yells "ho, ho, ho!" outside the downstairs window. You can imagine as little children how exciting that must have been, but now when he does it we just roll over and go back to bed. We always complain the next morning about how we are too old and dad plays the "I don't know what you are talking about" card. We all roll our eyes but secretly love it.

When we wake up Christmas morning it is because my brother, Jeff, has been jumping on us for several minutes. Jeff has already been through his stocking and counted the presents to make sure that we all got the same amount and tried to guess what is inside each one prior to the jumping. We all take our time getting up just because we know that it drives Jeff crazy. When we finally head upstairs, we each take our turn going through our stockings. My dad, who has one of those ginormous stockings that 12 baby Kates could fit in, with room to spare, takes his time. Of course my mom makes sure that his stocking is completely full to the brim and usually overflowing with things like giant 2lb beef sticks and the mandatory pistachios. But even though his stocking is generally the same, with minor variations every year, he still takes his time because he gets the biggest kick out of watching Jeff squirm with anticipation for the day to start. After the stockings we each open just one present. We take turns opening our presents while everyone else watches. That is key, if everyone is not watching then we wait until they are.

After that we take a break to have breakfast, which usually includes cinnamon rolls and always includes chocolate milk! When we finally head back to opening the rest of our "Santa" presents, taking turns one at a time, we make sure to save the biggest and best presents for last. My dad again always taking the longest to open and then admire his presents! He loves to make Christmas last as long as possible and it usually does. We generally start at 8 and don't end until noon. And that is just the morning. After a few hours napping, playing with our morning "Santa" presents, nibbling on cocktail weenies and coconut shrimp, we all reconvene around the tree about 6 p.m. to finish off the day with sibling and other family gifts!

I love Christmas, but most of all I love spending Christmas with my family! Now that Aaron and I are married I am sure things will change a little but I am still grateful for a dad that made Christmas such a wonderful and memorable time for our family and for a wonderful mom who lets my dad have it his way just one day a year!

Another successful Christmas has come and gone! Check out Christmas morning with my family.

The Before

The After

Baby Kate had a blast on her first Christmas! She even enjoyed opening her first present, with Grandpa's help. Although, I am pretty sure she enjoyed eating the shiny ribbon more than opening presents. I adore this child!

Here we are enjoying a few of our gifts! Whitney's husband, Phil, got her the Disney Princess Easy Bake Oven... I was so jealous!!! We will never be too old to enjoy this!

Here is Aaron enjoying the new laptop that he got me!

And yes my husband bought me the Grey's Anatomy DVDs, seasons 1-3. Wow he really must love me, or was he trying to make up for last year when he got me a bib?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Merry Christmas!

It finally feels like Christmas around the house! We got our very first Christmas tree!

It is a candy tree!

My favorite ornaments are the cupcakes!

Thanks to Ryan and Honey for the tree! Thanks to my mom for all of the ornaments! Someday we will get our own... but for now we are just grateful to have a little Christmas spirit around the house!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Warren Miller!

Winter has officially arrived here in Denver and although the snow makes for a tough commute to work I can handle it knowing what wonderful things await me in the mountains! Last Saturday was our first ski day up in the mountains and it was wonderful, but I will blog about that later!

Every year, to get pumped up for the ski season, Aaron likes to catch the new Warren Miller film. I enjoy the movies and have happened to go to quite a few of the films over the years but Aaron loves to go every year!

Now before I continue with the rest of the story, I have to make a confession, I lied in the last post. The night we went to Coldplay, we weren't just going to have our regular Friday night, we were supposed to go see this year's Warren Miller film. It was our only free night to go see the movie while it was in town, but because my husband is so sweet he sacrificed to make me happy instead. (Not that he was at all opposed to going to the concert... I think he may even have wanted to go more than me.)

Well I had to make it up to him and I had an idea! Last week I had a day off of work. This gave me time to work out a surprise. The first part of my plan was to transform our house into a winter wonderland. I put snowflakes everywhere! Snowflakes covered the windows, the floors, and the tables. I even hung snowflakes from the ceiling. My next step was to hang up signs giving him a few hints to what would await him in our living room. I hung a sign on the back door saying "Are you ready?" He then would open the back door into our kitchen to find another sign saying, "Get Excited!"... followed by another sign saying,"For Ski Season 2009!!"

This was all leading him to our living room where I set up our own Warren Miller movie night, complete with sponsors, Ski magazines, and even free ski coupons! I also threw in a few treats for us to watch the movie with. It was almost like the real thing (minus the other 300 people watching the movie with us.)

Let the ski season begin!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Best Husband Surprise Ever!

What do the answers to these questions have in common?

Clue 1: If you needed to find a plumber, where would you find one to call?

Clue 2: This is a common pirate phrase: “______ me timbers!”

Clue 3: What item can all of these words describe? Grandfather, Wall, Antique, Cuckoo

Clue 4: Can you fill in the blank for this 80’s movie starring Kurt Douglas? “Big _________ in Little China”

Clue 5: A true handyman might be called “Mr. ____- it”.

That is the riddle that I received in an email from Aaron on Friday afternoon leading me to the best surprise ever!

: Long story! Skip to the pics if you just want the answer.

But before I explain the surprise let's start back a few weeks ago when this all got started. I listen to a radio show everyday on my way home from work. It is the Slacker and Steve show on Alice 105.9. I love it... when it is appropriate. Starting about two weeks ago everyday at 5:30 they would have a competition. Each day they would give a story idea, whether it be a good hoarding story, an embarrassing crying story, a boycotting story or a high maintenance story and which ever caller had the best story would win a certain concert ticket. Every day I would call Aaron with the premise of the story and we would try to come up with the funniest story we could and then call in to the radio station in hopes of winning these tickets. Everyday for two weeks we would call in and either get a busy signal or they would put us on hold and then run out of time for our story. One day Aaron actually made it on the radio about boycotting Rainbow Mallows. I'll spare you why he is boycotting but needless to say we didn't win.

Well Thursday rolled around, the day before the concert and I was so bummed that we hadn't won tickets. We looked into buying tickets but were concerned about the cost being a little high. We decided to not purchase tickets and have our typical Friday night of eating out and watching Numb3rs and a movie.

I went to school Friday thinking it was going to be another usual day, but oh was I wrong. Around lunch time I got an email from Aaron asking me to answer the questions listed above. I thought to myself, "I don't have time for this, I have to teach." But I hurried and answered the questions and then decided to type all of the answers in google to see if the riddle would pop up.

The answers were "yellow" pages, shiver, clocks, trouble and fix. What do they have in common? They are all Coldplay songs! Every hit that popped up had to do with Coldplay. "Duh!" I thought, "of course these are all Coldplay songs!" I hurried and emailed him back wondering why he was teasing me so, this was the exact band that we weren't going to see. Right then my lunch break was over and the kids started piling in. I started class but was anxiously waiting for Aaron's response. I kept glancing over at my computer every 30 seconds until he finally responded. I casually walked on over to my computer still leading the class discussion. I clicked on his email and a big picture of Coldplay popped up with the words... You are cordially invited to the Coldplay concert! (My sweet husband had found a sweet deal on sweet tickets!) I immediately got a huge smile on my face and completely forgot what I was talking about. My students thought that I had gone crazy. I almost just shouted out "I am going to COLDPLAY!" Instead, I just causally said "Excuse me, but what were we talking about?" At least it gave them a good laugh.

The concert was so fun! We had floor seats and sat 25 rows away from the stage. They sang all of their hits, Viva la Vida, Fix You, Violet Hill, The Hardest Part, Politik, and my favorite: The Scientist! At one point during one of their new songs titled "Lovers in Japan"they let thousands of confetti butterflies fall from the ceiling. It was incredible! Check out some of our photos below! There is even a video with some highlights from the concert. Heads up it is about 4 minutes... I couldn't bear to cut it down!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Last Saturday Aaron and I along with my parents and my brother Jeff headed south to Colorado Springs. We geared up in our blue and white and made our way to the place where half of the LDS population in Colorado was headed as well.

We first had to make a stop at the always warm and wonderfully delicious... Cracker Barrel! I have so many memories of this beloved restaurant growing up. I could spend all day telling them. This was another learning experience for my dear husband. I realized that I revert back to my ten year old self when I get overly excited about my family traditions, hence the fascination with Disney. I guess I have to give my parents props for such a rad childhood! Thanks!

Well after our quick stop to play checkers, drink orange cream soda, eat country ham and fried ocra we were off to the main event... BYU vs. Air force game!

I am not a huge football fan so I was just in it for the experience, but every time I did decide to pay attention they would do horribly! Guessing by the final score you can assume that I didn't pay too much attention seeing how BYU destroyed the Falcons! The final score 38-24!

We had a blast with my family, stake president, a student of mine and friends from our ward who all happened to be sitting right by us! GO COUGARS!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Our Day as California Tourists!

So I am behind on my posting but I'll share anyway. After our Disneyland vacation we had an extra day in Los Angeles so we figured we would do your typical touristy stuff. I am glad to say that I experienced this at least once but if I never go back to L.A. I would be just fine.

Our first stop was a farmers market. I know that may sound lame but it was incredible and huge! It had every type of food imaginable and all of these adorable little shops. One shop only sold old soda pops and other pop from around the world. It took me ten minutes to decide what to order. It was so fun!

Trip advisor said this was a good place for celebrity sitings. It also happened to be right behind the CBS studio. I was hoping for a run in with Charlie from my fav show Numb3rs but I guess it wasn't my day.

Next we were off to Grauman's Chinese Theater for the Hollywood walk of fame. There were plenty of celebrity imposter's hanging around in case you wanted to pay a few dollars for a pic... creepy! I hurried and held hands with Brad Pitt and then we got out of there as fast as we could.

Next we headed up to the famous HOLLYWOOD sign and got a nice view of the entire valley. We drove up as far as we could and got as close as we could without having to hike. A friendly man that lived in his van offered Aaron a wonderful opportunity to watch the sunset from just above the sign... needless to say we didn't stay around there much longer.

Our next destination was Beverly Hills with a look down Rodeo Drive.

After checking that off our list, we headed down the road to the Los Angeles temple! Best part of the day!

Then we were off to the Santa Monica Pier where we enjoyed the sunset on the beach. We thought about riding a roller coaster but it just didn't seem too enticing just coming from Disneyland the day before.

From there we were off to the airport. And there you have it... our day as California tourists.