Sunday, March 28, 2010

Happy New Year!


Wow, I finally made it to this year...but I'm already 4 months behind! Blast! Hopefully I will be able to breeze through the last few months quickly. Our New Years celebration consisted of the following things: Jaleah and Mark Tuttle, a fondue party, Rock Band, Ticket to Ride, and a drive home at 2:00 am (way past my bedtime).

Jaleah's neighborhood friends were having a fun New Years party and they were nice enough to let us tag along. The food was great and the company was even better. We had a great time (quite a different experience from last year...falling asleep before midnight...)

Ticket to Ride...such a fun (and frustrating when you play against Jaleah) game!

Let's keep it short and sweet :)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

One Year Down...

December 27, 2009 = Our first anniversary!

And what does Jason surprise me with?

...a surprise stay at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake!

Jason is so thoughtful when it comes to special occasions (as you probably have already noticed by now)! The Grand America is such an elegant hotel; I had never stayed there before so, of course, I was thrilled when we pulled up to it! We had such a nice stay and it was so special, being it was right across the street from Little America (the hotel we stayed at our first night after being married).

Our room number

The courtyard

The only downer was when we tried to go to the hot tub...they wanted to charge us $10! I don't know how they get away with rude! We decided to skip that activity.

The view from our balcony

For dinner, we went to the Little America Steakhouse (same place we ate at on our honeymoon)! Still delicious!

This is the best shot we could manage. Our waitress was this old, old lady and she tried her best about five times to get a good picture...this is the best one of the bunch. Those hands just aren't as steady as they once were, I suppose. :)

Here we are...the same year ago!

We went and found the room we stayed in our first night...

Time for our wedding cake!

We spent the next morning shopping at the Gateway Mall and watching this awesome movie:

That's right...Sherlock Holmes! Loved it!

I really think I could get used to this whole anniversary idea!! Love you Jason! One year eternity to go!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Our First Christmas

...And Christmas Day finally arrived...

Every Christmas, we wake up at 6:00 am (Bryan swears its 5:00, but after 22 years of Christmas's...I'm sure I have the traditions down!). After a night of all us sleeping upstairs, we gather in one of the rooms and send a message through the intercom to my parents sleeping downstairs: "Merry Christmas!"

We jump onto my parents bed and force them to wake up. First item on the list...the Jesus Box. For those of you who aren't familiar with this idea, it is a box that we leave notes/letters in each year containing our "gift" to Jesus this next year. In essence, it is a New Year's resolution that we commit to in order to improve ourselves. We each take turns reading our "gifts to Jesus" and have fun evaluating their implications. Once we have finished with the Jesus Box, my dad will usually try and mess with us by telling us that we have to shower or make our beds first before we can go see what Santa brought us. That never lasts too long, but there is always the mandatory "check with the video camera." Dad always has to go first to "make sure" that Santa came, to video the things he brought us, and to turn on the Christmas bells. After many anxious minutes, our excitement builds as we hear the bells downstairs.Now we are allowed to line up on the stairs to go down.

a beautiful sight to see on an early Christmas morn...

We walk down the stairs with our faces covered with our Christmas bears (don't ask me where that tradition came from or started). Finally we are free to enjoy the gifts from Santa.

After an hour or so of gifts from Santa, we open our traditional Christmas Cereal. Growing up, we were never given any sugar cereals for breakfast. Sugar cereal was reserved for the one special occasion each year: Christmas.

The joke this year is that everyone wanted Cracklin' Oat Bran (not a sugar cereal). I don't know if you have noticed, but that cereal is seriously expensive...always. I swear it is never on sale. So my mom surprised us with a "Family Christmas Cereal" of Cracklin' Oat Bran. We were thrilled (even though it disgraces everything the Christmas Cereal stands for).

After eating breakfast, the rest of the day is spent taking turns opening gifts from the family and lounging around. Usually games and movies are involved, but of course, lots and lots of food and fun.

Some of the more memorable presents of the entire Christmas season were:

#1 - A new vacuum. We went our entire first year without one! How gross is that!?! (of course we borrowed from family and friends...but still...)

#2 - My own movie list. My dad went through all of the home videos we have and created a play list for each of us, documenting the videos each of us were in and where to find them (I knew he must have put hours and hours into that, so I couldn't help but get emotional!)

#3 - A Levi blanket. My mom made each of us a special blanket (she has become quite the master quilter lately).

Of course there were many other great gifts, but those are the main ones that come to mind right now. Overall, we had a wonderful Christmas. Thanks to Jason for putting up with our strict traditions...I'm sure it was a lot different than what he is used to, but he was a great sport! Thanks to both of our parents for their loving gifts and for helping make this Christmas full of wonderful memories!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Christmas Eve!

I'm not even sure where to begin with Christmas Eve. My family has a pretty outlined schedule when it comes to this day. Every year, we tie/make a "Christmas Blanket" to give to someone on Christmas Eve. We typically go to either a hospital or a rest home. We do this in hopes of brightening someones Christmas, since their circumstances may be putting a damper on the holidays for them. This year we went to a hospital in Salt Lake County (couldn't tell you which one). We found this cute old lady who had been in the hospital for quite a number of days and didn't have too many family members near by. As good of a thing as it is, it's always a little awkward for us we pretty much make Mom do all of the talking while we just stand there and smile. We all pitch in to sing a little Christmas song (usually We Wish You a Merry Christmas), but besides that, we're always a little anxious to head on our way (how awful is that!?!).

Making Christmas treats before we leave

The next item of business on our Christmas Eve agenda is going to a movie. This year we went to The Princess and the Frog (much to the disgrace of Bryan). It turned out to be quite a cute movie, and I'd venture to say that Bryan even ended up liking it (even though he would never admit it).

Speaking of Bryan, he was feeling a little left out this year because Tyson, Camry, and I have "official" Christmas bears (which are just stuffed bears that we slept with on Christmas Eve while growing up). Kimberly and Bryan also have bears, but they are more like hand-me-down bears that have no "Christmas" resemblance. I guess this was bothering Bryan a lot more this year than it ever had (which is surprising for an eleven year old) and so we had to make a special stop at Build-A-Bear so he and Kimberly could make their own. I still believe Bryan was taking advantage of my mom's sensitivity just so he could have another Build-A-Bear (I think that makes 4 or 5 of those bears that he has now?) haha. However, whatever the reason, at least Bryan can be happy now that he has a "legitimate" Christmas bear.

Afterwords, the extended Arbon family heads to Grandpa and Grandma Arbon's for the evening program. Typically, we would eat and spend the rest of the evening there; however, recent events left Grandma Arbon restricted in a chair and she wasn't feeling up to hosting an evening of activities. A few weeks before, she had fallen on some ice and broken her shoulder. Needless to say, she was in a lot of pain and deserved a break from hosting the Christmas party. So this year, we just stopped by to say hello and to receive our Christmas stockings. We then came back to my parents house for dinner and for the Christmas program.

Cousins at Grandpa and Grandma Arbon's

Dinner at my parents house

The program went well, with each family performing some kind of musical number. We then listened/read/watched the Christmas Nativity in about every media form imaginable (don't ask me why!).

Eventually everyone leaves and we finish tidying up the house...which means it's finally time to open up our Christmas pajamas! This year was special because with our pajamas, my parents included fun reindeer pieces: a lighted Rudolph nose and antlers.

...which then leads to more pictures...

(notice Christmas bears)

The night ends with Christmas carols around the piano, a last dash to the kitchen for more treats, writing wish lists for Santa, and putting out a bowl of carrots for the reindeer.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A Special Date with In-N-Out

On our way to my parents house for the real Christmas festivities, we decided we would make a date out of the journey. One absolute must was stopping at In-N-Out. Due to the outrageous line that is continuously present at the one in Provo, we had not visited In-N-Out yet since its grand arrival into Utah County. Since we were driving by the one in American Fork, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity...and it was!

As good as In-N-Out is, it was nothing compared to our next activity:

That's right, Avatar in 3D!!

To be honest, originally I didn't have a strong desire to see Avatar. My feelings were...if we saw it, that's fine, if we didn't, that's fine too. Boy was I wrong!!!! Avatar turned out to be AMAZING! I was completely overwhelmed by how good the movie actually was. It was my first 3D movie experience and I could not have been more impressed! Any Avatar haters out there are just confused, poor unfortunate souls!

Christmas Break

With the school semester over for both of us, that meant we finally had some time to just relax. That also meant a lot more family time! Since we decided to spend Christmas with my family this year, we had a special Christmas celebration with the Grubers a few days before Christmas.

A special Christmas dinner

Gifts from George and Nancy

Alex making a "funny" face...look at those rosy cheeks!

A couple of our fun Christmas gifts:

For future Christmas's...

Our first official Christmas ornament!

The Grubers are always so thoughtful! I can't help but be reminded over and over again how blessed we really are!

Two nights later, we opened our gifts from Robby, Amy, Harlan, and Clara. The Tuttles had our names for Christmas this year, and they definitely surprised us with the perfect gifts.

They gave us our own Christmas pajamas, a "Special Day" plate, and a fondue set with special fondue chocolate. They seem to know me perfectly already...I love to sleep and eat...especially when there is chocolate involved! can you not love Christmas!?!!!!!