Friday, December 31, 2010

Saying goodbye really sucks...especially when it's family.

I always HATE goodbyes. I can't help it. I get really emotional, and I cry, and it can be embarrassing. I especially hate it when I have to say goodbye to someone I really love.

Which is why Monday night sucked so badly. Kristin and Scott were leaving Tuesday morning to go to their new job in California. I'd gotten to know them and their boys so much better the few months they were here, and I really love them. I've learned tons of fun stuff from Kristin and just generally had a blast!

To make matters even worse, Kristin and Scott's U-Haul trailer was stolen from their hotel parking lot while they were staying in Oklahoma City overnight. Gah, that makes me so angry. It had literally ALL of their stuff, at least everything they brought here from Utah. All their clothes (minus 2 or 3 outfits for travelling), all their toys, all the Christmas presents, my mom's piano that has been in the family for over 30 years, their TV, their Wii, all their Wii games and equipment, and all of Kristin's specialized baking equipment (which those who know Kristin and her amazing baking talent will agree is a tragedy in an of itself).

Although they did have insurance on their trailer, we all know how insurance companies are. It's likely to take a while for them to get anything back from the insurance, and it's even more likely that their possessions will never be found.

A page has been set up to accept donations on their behalf:

If you are able and willing, please take a moment to help out this family. They are fantastic people, and this is really tragic.


Our Christmas this year has been so amazing! Of course, we've actually had TWO Christmases, but I'll talk about Christmas with my family first.

First of all, my sister Sharon and her family came up for the holidays. We don't usually see them at Christmas, so that was so much fun! I really love her and her husband, and their adorable kids. They have four girls and a little baby boy. They're just so much fun! The girls are quite adventurous, as we saw Christmas morning when the girls jumped at the chance to have a snowball fight with their uncle Brett. :)

Brett and I went down to my mom's several times while they were in town. We actual spent the night Christmas Eve because it had already snowed and was supposed to continue to do so. I didn't want to go home and then get stuck there, away from my family! So we slept on an air mattress on the floor next to the Christmas tree. And little Amy slept in a laundry basket! It was pretty cute. I really wish I'd gotten a picture of it.

Christmas morning was fun and hectic! The kids opened up their stockings and looked through the goodies, and then we had a quick and tasty breakfast before opening presents. Kristin made 2 different types of scones: chocolate peppermint and white chocolate cranberry. They were so delicious! I was partial to the white chocolate cranberry ones. Yum....

Present-opening was great fun, although it was definitely crazy! The kids all loved their gifts, and there were some really fun ones. I got exactly what I wanted--everything I need to make beautiful cakes! (And other desserts.) I got some other fun things, too, like a pair of hand towels from my mom that say 'naughty' on one and 'nice' on the other. I love her sense of humor! She knew I'd like them, of course.

It's so fun to watch people get so excited over their presents. I love seeing the expressions on their faces!

And of course, more amazing food was involved. :)

A few random things

Several things happened in December that weren't either a holiday or a car crash. :) So here are some more fun things that went on this month.

~My younger sister Chandra's 22nd birthday. The sisters who were in town and Mom went out to lunch at Red Lobster to celebrate. It was delicious! Kristin, Heather, and I all shared this gigantic plate of food. It had crab legs, a couple different types of shrimp, and a lobster tail. I also had a salad, and of course their amazing biscuits! Yum.....

~Scott got a job offer, which he accepted. This was great, but definitely bittersweet as the job is located in Ridgecrest, California. That's so far away! I'm glad they have a job, but we were all hoping they'd find one in the Midwest so that they wouldn't be so far away now. Alas, apparently it was not meant to be.

~Harry Potter 7 (part 1) came out. Yeah, yeah, I know. Maybe it's a little lame for me to list this one, but I was really excited to see it. It was fabulous! Each movie seems better than the one before. I can hardly wait for Part 2 to come out next summer!

~Our annual Holiday Dinner with our friends. We started doing this a few years ago for several reasons. 1) I LOVE to cook, and if we didn't have people over, there really wouldn't be a point in cooking so much food for just two people. 2) We have awesome friends, and not all of them have family in the area. 3) Why not celebrate another time? I love food, and I love good company. So it just makes sense! We usually have our friends Sue & Justin, and Liz and Dustin over. This year we added another couple who were just married several weeks ago, David and Karen. It was so much fun (although a bit crowded) to sit around and eat amazing food, and the play games and hang out.

At the rate we're going, next year we won't be able to do it at our apartment. We're expanding our dinner, and I hope we keep expanding it. The more, the merrier!

Hockey weekend!

As part of our Christmas present, Brett's parents bought us tickets to the Penguins @ Bluejackets game the weekend after Thanksgiving. We were so stoked to be able to go! I'd only gotten to see them twice before, and they'd lost both times, so I was looking forward to hopefully seeing a win!

We left nice and early since it was a bit snowy. Amy stayed behind with her grandparents. We'd only been on our way for about 15 minutes when...we got into a car accident. Yikes! There were technically four cars involved, but we only made contact with one other vehicle. Our back bumper got smashed up, and then our front bumper was damaged when we made contact with the cement barricade.

Fortunately no one was injured and our car was still drivable. So, after talking to the police, we decided to continue on to the arena. The streets cleared up very soon after that, so the rest of our drive was uneventful.

The game was amazing! Much to Columbus' chagrin, there were twice as many Pens fans as there were Bluejackets fans. It was an exciting game, with the Penguins soundly beating Columbus 7-3.

So despite the crash, it was a great weekend! We always enjoy spending time with Brett's parents.

Thanksgiving weekend

So, our Thanksgiving was fabulous. One of my sisters, Annette, and her family came up just before Thanksgiving to my mom's, so we got to have an early celebration with them. It's just so much fun to be around family and spend time with everyone! Kimball and Rebecah are getting so big, I love seeing them! The food was, of course, amazing....I love food.

The evening before Thanksgiving, we made the drive up to Ohio to spend it with Brett's family. I think I mentioned this in an earlier post, but initially it was just going to be us and Brett's brother, Brandon. Well, it turned out that all the siblings made the trip, so we got to have a fun little mini-reunion. I'm so fortunate that I married into that family, they are really amazing people, and so much fun to be around!

We didn't do anything earth-shattering while we were there, just hung out together, stayed up late (very late) playing games, chatting, etc. Or at least TRYING to play games....I attempted to introduce the game Werewolves (which I borrowed from my sister Heather). Yeah, not such a successful attempt. It's a fun game, but takes a lot of explaining. Despite that only the adults were awake to play, people were getting a bit antsy while I was going over the directions. We still had a good time, but I don't think we'll be playing Werewolves again any time soon!

Wow, have I been busy!

So much has happened the past month or so, that I just haven't had a lot of time to post updates. I'm afraid this is going to be another occasion for cluster posting. Oh, well, better than nothing, right?