Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Our first Christmas together....and looking forward to many more to come! We honeymooned in Las Vegas over the holidays together. It was an amazing week. The day after our wedding we went to Greg and I went to his Aunt Sandy's house in Alpine. She has what Greg and I call a dream home. It has lots of land around it, the most amazing view, and a LARGE kitchen...among other things. We got there right after our 1:00 church. We went to a ward building that is just right by her home. I was starting to feel sick, all the sleepless nights, early mornings, and business started to catch up with me. I was starting to have body aches and a sore throat. Darn! It couldn't have been more perfect for us to go over to his Aunt's house to hang out with Greg's parents, sister Carolyn, and his brother Ben with his fiance, Amanda. It was the most relaxing, nice place to be! We enjoyed the good company so much, good food, warm/clean house, and laughs. I am really happy we got to spend a little more time with his family. We hardly got to spend any quality time with them before the wedding, we just had so much to do. This is a downside to quick engagements in addition to an already busy schedule. So this was bliss. We had lasanga, fruit, salad, and bread. Delicious! We enjoyed root beer floats and Sandy's dried apples. To top it off, we had some oatmeal chocolate cake with ice cream that was the perfect way to end our feast. The next day we headed to Las Vegas!!!

Before we got going, we decided to spend some time fixing up our apartment that was in complete disarray. Not a pleasant place to be with boxes, trash, etc everywhere! One of Greg's projects was the table my Mom and Dad got us for Christmas....beautiful! So glad I didn't have to assemble it!

We got a good hold on it and packed for our trip. Our plans, shows, movies, shopping, dinners, and climbing! We never made it to a show, neither of us had any particular show we absolutely had to see. When you are apathetic about a show and the usual cost is $60.00, why would you go!? $120 for a little entertainment just didn't have us hooked, so we went shopping instead. We saw Hugo, and bought tons of treats...didn't even sneak them in!!! So, we felt like royalty in the movie theaters. Greg got a couple new pairs of pants and he just rocks them! He is such a handsome man, and I don't believe I am a biast girl either!
Oooooeeee!!!! :)
He also got a new coat, he had what I felt like was an unachiveable price range for a new coat. He wanted to spend $50.00. Come on, I know we are in an outlet mall, but do you really think you are going to find one for $50.00!!?? NOPE...cheaper! I was SHOCKED. He found one for like 45 bucks or so.
Doens't he look good...even when he is driving?
We had some amazing dinners!!! He let me sleep in while he went grocery shopping...he got me lots of Airborne and Nyquil. So, I did some lounging and he picked up some serious slack. I remember thinking over and over, I was too busy to pay attention much, but I was reminded over and over again why I married him. I used to think, once I met somebody who I could trust like my parents or rely on or feel like somebody cared like they do, I'd be so happy. Well, Greg is that way to me. He is ever so attentive to my needs and feelings. He does anything and everything for me. From making my lunches and breakfast when I have to wake up early, to letting me sleep in when I've already had more then he has, to being patient when I get upset about the towels not staying neatly stacked, and tickling my back at night so I can fall asleep. I could go on and on...when you get married there is a lot you don't know about the person no matter how long you date them. It is a risky choice and some would say in a sense you step out in the dark leaning on faith, and it feels so good to have that decision reinforced and confirmed over and over! I learn more and more everyday that I picked the right guy. He continues to show me over and over why our meeting and decision was not a coinsidence....

One of his breakfasts featuring scambled eggs, ham, toast, and orange juice. Yum! 

So, we decided that trying to make dinner for Thanksgiving would be a lot harder then just going out to eat. Too long of an ingredient list while we are away from home! Greg did some searching online and found a close buffet that had what we wanted. There are a lot of choices in Vegas for a buffet. We wanted just the traditional Thanksgiving dinner and didn't care much about having beef wellington, lobster, etc. He found just the place. We headed out and were excited to eat...we were hungry! Espeically Greg! I am usually the hungry one but every once in a while....he decides he is too. When we got to the much anticpated location, HUNDREDS of people were in line. WOW! Must have been popular, right!? But Greg did his homework and found that the same buffet was featured by the same company just at a more distant location and for a better price. Determined to have our traditional Thanksgiving dinner we piled in the car with stomachs growling for another 20 minute drive. Once we got there, we were happy to see only about 20 people in line waiting to pay. The atmosphere was slightly different though...I guess there is a reason it was cheaper. Lets just say, I hate Golden Corral but it would have been a welcome site to me! Greg was feeling optomistic but I wasn't so sure. We got in the booth and he headed out for the first round. Not me, I stayed back and watched the purse. Once he got back, I went to take a look. I am unusally skeptical of buffets. I look around and all I see is people breathing on the food, dropping food from thier already dirty plate into other food, and food that has been sitting out for too long. I was taking a micro class at this time, let me tell you, I was starting to picture all the microbes floating in the air and in the food. My appetite didn't stick around for long....
Here is where we started out....

And this is where we ended up....
I probably sound like a snob, I promise that I am not hard to please, I am just a bit of a germa-phob when it comes to food! Anyway...we decided that next time, hopefully we won't be in Las Vegas looking for a buffet on Thanksgiving again, but if we ever are.....we will just go to our favorite place to eat. Like Spaghetti factory, Olive Garden, etc. 

My favorite activity was rock climbing. I love to do this SO much...I am still a nerdie newbie but I am always wanting and willing to go! We went to Red Rocks there...not the hotel, the climbing area! But naturally, the casino is close by!
This isn't our picture, I tired to take one but the iPhone just couldn't capture it! So, here it is!!! Beautiful, huh? I want to go back SO bad. It was my first time climbing anywhere but Rock Canyon or American Fork Canyon. Amazing area and really fun climbing! I have since been to St. George, also a really neat place to climb. Beware, rock climbing is too fun not to get extremely addicted to it!

We stayed a total of 4 nights in Las Vegas. Our friend's in-laws gave us a great deal on our condo so we enjoyed a nice place to stay as well. Overall, it seemed to me to be the perfect honeymoon. We could relax, eat at home, enjoy good weather, eat out, shop, climb, watch movies, or go to a movie at our hearts content. Someday...maybe we will take a cruise or something. But for now, it was the perfect vacation for two newly weds.

Looks pretty good, huh?

On to our second holiday, Christmas!

Naturally, we need a tree! We had some Christmas decor handed down to us! And we loved all of it and used all of it! Here we are, decorating our tree....

And...I also already had these two little decorative Christmas tree...turning our house into a Christmas wonderland!!!

We started our Christmas parties out with an ugly sweater party and then Greg's birthday!

 So, Greg and I didn't have time to go get UGLY we decided that he would wear one of mine, and I would wear one of his! Mine didn't that funny, but Greg looked hilarious in my funny baggy sweater! He even had a shirt to go underneath it! Such a good sport! Amy gave us this cute Christmas decor!
 Mrs. Amy Rudd and Mrs. Kellie Rivera. We used to all be roommates, now we are all married. Look at this beautiful new kitchen of Amy and Bobby's!! We had a fun time seeing their new home, it is very nice!
 Left to right: Amy Rudd, Kellie Rivera, Brian Rivera, Greg, Me
 We all brought a little something. Greg and I brought potatoes and tried a new recipe, orange cream cake! It is a keeper! Here we are drizzling it!
This is my new favorite cake, I really loved it, such a unique recipe!

Greg is probably one of the most thoughtful individuals I know. He really was good to me on my birthday, he got me a really nice gift, made me meals, planned good activities, and babied me all day. I wanted to do the same for him. His birthday is December 23rd. I bought tickets to a play almost 2 months prior to his birthday. I was thinking we would go out to a play, go out to eat, I would make cake for him, and give him a gift. I wanted to be as good to him as he was to me.  I had thought about what we would do for his cake, he seemed indifferent but really liked a lemon cake I made once. I decided to do it but with a different spin, I would do lime cake and make it a tres leches cake! I have never failed at tres leches, they are sooooo good. And I had been telling Greg I needed to make him one. I made it two days early so we could share it with his brother, Reed, sister-in-law, Anne, and his two nephews, Kason and Harley. It was so fun to have them over, Greg picked up some delicious Papa Murphy's pizza and we just ate and hung out for a night.
 We couldn't find our matches, so Greg took some paper and lit it on fire with a hot stove. Worked pretty well! I would have never thought of that....
 Then to my great suprise, he threw it on the tile and had Kason help him stomp it out, all I can say is, Kason, "don't do what your uncle does!"
 Singing to the birthday boy to be!!!
 Cutting the anticipated cake...guess what!? It tasted like lime corn bread with sour rasberries in the middle. I was so disappointed and a little embarassed at how bad it tasted. I really wanted to have a nice cake for Greg and then I wanted it to taste okay for our guests. Guess that is just how cooking goes! Some recipes are just NO GOOD!
We had so much fun with Kason and Ella. Harley was tired and slept the whole time, but we enjoyed Kason and Ella who is such a happy baby! We got them some little gifts and played a Christmas video for Kason where we were able to input some information about him and some pictures. In the video, the Santa calls him by name and talks to him personally! So cute! He seemed to really like it.

The next night we celebrated Greg's birthday togethere. We got to Salt Lake around 4:45 and Temple Square was already busy but we wanted to meet up with Reed, Anne, and thier family. So by the time we did, the lines at the resturaunt called "The Garden" were bad! 45 minutes wait minimum! we decided to just get something to eat really quick and then grab our dinner after the play. We went to "Savior of the World." Beautiful music and wonderful message! I was a little sleepy and I've seen it several times, so I snoozed a little on Greg's shoulder but after that I was good to go! Afterwards, we ran to the resturant and barely made it! But we loved our food! I had lasanga and Greg had a meatloaf sandwich. We topped it off with some gelato ice cream.....MMMMMMM!!!! Glad we were finally able to eat some yummy food with a great view! I wish I had taken pictures but this is all I have:

Greg's grandfather, Grandpa Jones wrote the narration that they play here in this room! So neat, I have it memorized from my mission.
Look to the light Greg!!! But seriously, look at all those!
 The Garden is on the 10th floor of the Joseph Smith Building....great view and tasty food!
 Greg opening his present after all our exciting activites for the night....he is such a goof ball!!!!

Greg is really good at gift giving and I am such a timid gift "buyer." But I got him a new flannel plaid shirt. He seemed to like it. He wore it the next day which happened to be Christmas Eve! We had planned out some good food, we were going to go climbing at Momentum in Sandy, Utah, and then we were going to come home and have a feast! We were excited but it was just going to be the two of us. Greg's brother Reed invited us that day to come join him and his wife's family for Christmas Eve dinner and nativity reinactment. We were thrilled at the invite! It was fun to look forward to being with a family in a home with some good food. And it was a great time! Before we headed over, we decided to go climbing for a while and then hit up the new Mission Impossible movie at the IMAX theather in Sandy. We really liked it but wished it had more of a plot. A lot of good action though! And some funny parts.....
 We had clam chowder in homemade bread bowls! Wow! Anne's mom, Lori, is a terrific cook. For dessert we enjoyed homemade egg nog and salted chocolate chip cookies. DELCIOUS!!! Try sticking some sea salt on your choclate chip cookies and making homemade egg nog. Lori put a little vanilla pudding in the milk, sugar, vanilla extract, rum extract, and then you can add nutmeg or cinnamon. SOOO tasty! We also were able to enjoy the same family tradition that I remember doing year after year! A nativity! Greg was Isiah and a wise man. I was a shepherd! Little Kason was Joseph, and he looked so cute! Mr. Harley was the boldest Samual the Lamanite!

 Kason as Joseph.
 Greg as Iasiah

 Harley as Samuel the Lamanite

I loved the made it even more fun! We are so grateful they let us come crash thier party and spend Christmas Eve with them. We had a fun time. We headed home and made some stops on the way. I laughed almost constantly on the way home. Greg is so funny! We were trying to find Elf but didn't find it at any of the stores and not even at blockbuster. So we ended up getting a Red Box dvd, Harry Potter! The final movie and enjoyed it so much, what a great flick!

We also had a delightful Christmas! We slept in, so the first thing we woke up to was my parents calling us about Trey! We decided to have a little three way phone call! It worked out perfect. Trey sounds usual and we loved hearing his stories and answers to our questions. Here he is! The handsome boy! And look at that view...what a cool place to live!

We then had a fun iChat on the computer with Greg's parents, brother Ben, and his sister Carolyn's family. I finally got to meet Ryan and Elise! Kind of crazy to meet somebody on a computer screen but better then not at all....

 Greg was good, so Santa brought him plenty of candy.
 He was good to me too...a hot glue gun of my very own!!!!

 Oh Joy!
Our little mess...

What a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas! We missed our families in Colorado and Virginia. So, we headed out to Colorado for some good family time. We stayed a whole week!  Hopefully, we will be able to head out to Virginia sometime soon too! 

1 comment:

  1. Too bad about your Thanksgiving Dinner! Everything else seemed great though. Love the nativity pictures!