Saturday, January 22, 2011

"Primary Answers"

In Primary the other day, I was teaching four inattentive children about our Savior. I was trying to explain to them that Jesus Christ volunteered to be our Savior which shows the great love He has for us. In hopes of gauging their understanding I asked them "how do you know your parents and family love you?" Different answers were thrown around, making me feel like they not only understood but believed, despite the constant bouncing in their seats. I was feeling good. Then one little girl said matter a factedly, "Well it's like, they'd catch a grenade for you."(for those of you that don't know, this is a line from a popular song on the radio by Bruno Mars ) I stifled a surprised laugh, less informed kids looked confused, and she smiled at her own witty pop song reference.

It seems as if those fallback "Primary Answers" we all reference have changed some.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Our Only Christmas Decoration

The mistletoe still hanging from my ceiling fan has helped me rationalize blogging about our Christmas. I mean, I haven't "taken" down Christmas in my house yet, so why not sneak in a report? I will add, the misteltoe was our only Christmas decoration.
There are two factors that made this Christmas so wonderful. The first being, I had literally not been home in an entire year. An entire year. That's a long time for any normal human being that has even the tiniest love for home. But a year for a girl that wants to bottle the smell of the lake in the summer time, opted to stay at home over playing with friends in Highschool, and begged to not return to college, a year is a long time. In fact I think you must times the year by approximately 5 to get the correct absence equivalent. So back to my reasons. Reason #1: I had not been home for 5 years. Reason #2: Since starting my job, Jon and I have had no longer than 4 days "vacation" together. Christmas Break was our first time together without any responsibility only fun and rest. Our break consisted of 11 days and it was glorious.
The minute I walked in my back door I became a crying mess. Just feeling that peace and comfort that only resides in your home. All my neices and nephews had rushed to the back door to give hugs and say hello to their Aunt Kiki. But upon seeing my hysterics they all gave looks of "Aunt Kiki is crazy" and scampered off. I was finally home.
The Christmas festivities were as enjoyable as ever. We spent some time at the Edwards', it was so good to see them. They are always so welcoming and make you feel so loved and cared for. We had our traditional gathering at Grandma Earls with all the Earls that could make it. We of course ate wonderfully. Christmas Day was so great. Jon and I exchanged one gift. I made him a shadowbox of his mission which he loved and he gave me a lime green yoga mat and yoga pants. Perfect. We were showered with gifts from our parents and family which we are so thankful for. We headed over to the Edwards' in the early afternoon and began making the never ending feast. We really enjoyed just hanging out over there, helping, and visiting. Wonderful day.
The rest of our time home was spent: game playing, pajama chilling, eating delicious food, never leaving the house, laughing and laughing, loving the adorable kids, putting together puzzles, and watching movies. I love that our family is such low maintenance. We are pefectly content laying around the house and just spending time together. The only discontent comes when games are played and competition begins. Although I'm pleased to share that I've learned a new coping mechanism when losing a game: As long as I've beaten my husband, I'm happy. It may seem cruel, but boy is it rewarding to beat that kid in a game.
I'm so thankful to my parents for creating a home that we all long to visit. I'm so thankful to my parents for creating a family we all long to be a part of always.
We discovered a new past time, speed puzzling. I helped with this puzzle, the boys may think they didn't need my help, but they did.
Oh the love of food shared by all family members.
Mostly how we looked all Break
Cutest. Kids. Ever.
Jon bonding with Izzy Jae. He's come a long way from calling Izzy an "It."

As always, it was horrible to leave. We had such a beautiful time that has fueled me for the past few weeks. Due to my 5 year absence from home I ovbiously have some distrust in Jon when he assures me we will be back soon. Before I walked out the door I made him pinky promise that I would be back, and back soon. He pinky promised. (deep breaths he pinky promised. breath.)

Our Anniversary Celebration

Jon and I's anniversary was lovely.
We drove down to Salt Lake and stayed a night at the Kimball (thanks Linh and Issac) We both got all dressed up and had dinner at "The Roof" restuarant at the top of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. The setting is gorgeous with a view of Temple Square with the charming Christmas lights to behold. It's a gourmet buffet that costs forty dollars a person, not a typical price for our mostly empty wallets. We tried to blend in with the Ritzy diners, ya know pretend like this was an everyday occurrence. His shirt was tucked, I was wearing heels and we managed to keep our napkins in our lap. But our giveaway came when we began to eat. We commentated that food like starving reporters! "Oh honey, you've got to try this!" "This is the most tender piece of meat that I've ever eaten, "I wouldn't fill up on the appetizer salmon because this Tilapia is delicious," "This just in: they replenished the mashed potatoes." It soon became obvious to the surrounding tables that we were just dressed up poor newly weds, impostures really. But that suited us just fine. I believe commenting on food makes the taste about 10 times better, our "cover" wasn't worth giving that up. Our mouths are still watering over the Prime Rib, Chicken Cordon Bleu, and Bleu Cheese Flank Steak. So delicious. The main event though, was the dessert selection spread across two tables. Oh my goodness there was individual Creme Brulee, Berry Mousse, Chocolate Dipped Strawberries, Pumpkin Cheesecake, Canolis, and Peach filled Crepes. Jon and I were just short of drawing a map and attack plan on our fancy napkins just to be able to maximize our dessert experience. We settled for using a large dinner plate rather than the small designated one, and filled it with any sweet thing that appealed. And then we feasted.
Now I realize this may not look appetizing, but trust me it was.
This is me happy, yet miserably full. There's a thin line between the two, especially when creme brulee is involved. I'm contemplating ways to get Jon to carry me back to the hotel.
This is Jon still reliving the Berry Mousse. Although his smile looks sweet, this is not so. He had just rejected my plea to be carried home. What nerve he has.

It was truly enjoyable to spend a night together, splurge in food and calories, and celebrate our love.