Sunday, April 24, 2011

February - The Month of Love

February was quite an exciting least for me.

First of all, it marked the big launch of the APX re-brand. Due to the movement towards home automation, APX officially became Vivint on February 1st. Of course, it made a huge impact on the day-to-day at work...but rather than focus on the business of it all, let's cut right to the fun.

That whole week at work could be described as a high school Spirit Week. There were games, food, prizes, Minute to Win-it, our own version of Wipe Out (which left many participants vomiting in the bathrooms...quite intense). There was a company kick-off and closing party, including our own rap theme song performed by our very own Customer Marketing rep, Prince Simpson (laser lighting and fog machines included). It was awesome! The closing party delivered Papa Johns for everyone and lots of grand prize give-aways. Two employees were drawn for a $5,000 shopping spree/trip, and one lucky employee won a $10,000 spree. Vivint sure knows how to treat their people right!

On the last day of Vivint week they had a professional photo booth take free pictures for everyone. My team and I jumped on the chance and came away with this shot (sadly, we were missing a few people...and we have added and lost some people since):

Mike, Zach, Stephen, Jaclyn, Christian, me, Ian, Casey, Richelle
Katalina, Micah, Renae

Also, if you would like to check out the Vivint rap, here is the YouTube link:

All in all, a fun week and proud to be a part of the Vivint family!

Another big event from February was my trip to the dentist! So somehow Jason and I went our whole marriage up to this point without visiting the dentist. Gross, I know! I finally got it done and have since returned to take care of a couple cavities and sealants. Before the year is over, I'm going to have to get my wisdom teeth pulled (apparently, I have two teeth that are that means I'll have to go to an oral surgeon rather than just my dentist). I'm so mad I didn't get that taken care of while living with my parents. This just goes to show that procrastination definitely comes with a price! Any recommendations on where to get it done?

Ever heard of Nordic Valley or Wolf Creek? If not, your probably not alone. It's a ways north of Salt Lake in a small city called Eden. I compare the small country-like town to the feel of Midway. Anywho, in Bryan's new craze for skiing, Jason and I took Bryan, Tyson, and Kim to the Wolf Mountain Ski Resort (used to be Nordic Valley). It is a tiny resort, but one that holds a lot of memories for me and my family. Since the resort is so small and the terrain is so easy, I figured this would be a perfect time to actually try skiing. Jason ended up being the instructor for all four of us Arbon kids (poor Jason). He was very hesitant at first (given his recent experience with Bryan)...but luckily, things went a lot better than he could have hoped! To my complete surprise, I totally loved skiing! There wasn't as much stress or tension in my body as there usually is when I'm snowboarding. I quickly realized that all of my tension was focused in my hands...while tightly gripping to the poles :). I must say, I'm still better at snowboarding, but after this experience, I haven't completely counted skiing out. I'll be returning to it each season (is the plan).

A look at the resort...very small. Pretty much one large lift.

Here are some videos if you want in on the action:

Jason's dreams come true (minus me falling in the beginning)....

 Mom, Dad, and Camry met up with us to bring us lunch and to check in to 
Wolf Creek (where we spent the night hot tubing and playing games).

I had my second shot of skiing the very next weekend. Jason and I spent the day at Sundance (again, courtesy of my boss)! This time, my skiing wasn't as solid, but I still had a blast. Enjoy the phone pics:

Now we come to Valentine's Day! Jason and I had to work during the day, so Jason surprised me with a night of fine dining. He took me to a new restaurant in the Riverwoods called La Jolla Groves. It was so dang good and a very elegant and classy place. Thanks again Jason!

As if we hadn't already been skiing enough, Jason was able to go two more times that month...once with his high school buddies, Richard and Nate, and again on President's Day (taking advantage of the newly fallen snow at Snowbird). Here's a glimpse at the powder he was able to experience (again, phones pics):

Well, one thing's for sure, we weren't lacking snow or excitement in February.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Quarter of a Century

Jason was a little guilty this year for “milking” his birthday. To be fair, who can really help themselves when your birthday lands on a Friday of a holiday weekend? Add two families that live within 30 minutes into the equation…and that just adds to the cream!

Friday, January 14th finally arrived, the day marking 25 years. We woke bright and early and began the day with a filling breakfast at Magleby’s. Jason ordered the All You Can Eat Pancakes and French Toast. For those who have not experienced such wonders, I highly recommend it. The syrup they use is heavenly! Given my early morning appetite, I ordered the fruit and cream (while, of course, snitching from Jason’s bountiful plate).

While work is both a blessing and a curse, we both had to fulfill our work duties during the day. So the next time we saw each other was 5:30 in the evening, which leads us to our next birthday event. We had a reservation to get to at Five Alls in Salt Lake.

Five Alls is an experience in and of itself. This is another recommendation I have to make for any who have not eaten there. I had first been to Five Alls on a date for the Junior Prom and loved it. Jason had never been, but I had mentioned to him over the years how much I had enjoyed it. He had no idea that we would be eating there.

After a successful attempt of disguising our destination, we arrived at Five Alls and were not disappointed. We enjoyed a Medieval Themed atmosphere with a delicious five course meal. To give you an idea of the amount of food that was consumed in that sitting, we were presented with meatballs, breadsticks with dip, exotic drinks, salad, breads with butter, soup, pineapple with coconut, Filet Mignon and New York Steak, creamed corn, baked potatoes with bacon, sour cream, cheese, and chives, and raspberry sorbet. Needless to say, I was feeling a little overloaded by the end (in an extremely good way)!

After slowly staggering to our car and driving home, Jason opened the presents that had been delivered to him up to that point. Following presents, we took advantage of Netflix yet again and watched Chaos Theory with Ryan Reynolds.

But wait, there’s more…after a few hours of sleep, we awoke Saturday morning to begin the next part of the celebration: Skiing at Brighton. It was so fun to go skiing just the two of us. I especially enjoyed the more beginner snowboarding-friendly terrain (compared to Snowbird that we have gone to most frequently).  I was able to more easily keep up with him and gain more confidence in my carving…that is until the mountain became filled with training schools.

After the day on the slopes, we went to one of our favorite places...Jordan enjoy a movie. Sadly, the movie didn't turn out as enjoyable as we would have hoped. We watched the third Chronicles of lame! We definitely felt like we wasted a memorable afternoon. 

The following two Sundays were also spent in celebration of Jason, once with the Gruber family and the next with the Arbons. 

*Funny how most of the highlights are centered on food…

Happy Birthday Jason!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Welcoming 2011

January 2011...we still have lots of ground to cover.

The first day of the year was spent celebrating our 2nd anniversary. We were actually married on December 27th, but due to the family time with the Grubers for Christmas, we decided to postpone our celebration until afterwards. Therefore, that Saturday was spent watching Tangled and shopping. As everyone knows by now, Tangled was an adorable movie, a must see!!! That evening, Jason surprised me with dinner at The Foundry Grill... which has special significance since we went there the night that Jason proposed to me! We hadn't been since that night, so it was very special. He even got us the exact same seat we had right next to the fireplace.

Our 2nd Anniversary:

The night of our engagement:

What a difference two years can make!
Thanks Jason for such a fun surprise!

January also brought our first calling in our new ward. We were called as the Sunday School teachers for the 17 year olds. With this calling, Jason and I felt a lot of responsibility. There are only a few kids in the ward that are that age (we live in a "Newly Wed - Nearly Dead" ward); there are about three boys and one girl that come regularly. We felt the heavy responsibility because they are at a very pivotal time in their lives. They are seniors in high school, about to move on to college or to go on missions. It is very important that they have strong examples in their lives and that they develop testimonies of their own. So far, the class has gone really well, the kids are great....the challenge is getting them to speak up sometimes...but overall, it has been a very enjoyable and rewarding experience. 

Another January arrival included our first smart phones! Our two year mark was coming up, and my dad shocked us both with the idea of adding a data package to our plan. We were thrilled and a little torn. Up to this point, we had planned on switching carriers and getting the iPhones (or I should say that was Jason's primary plan). However, my dad offered us an awesome deal that we couldn't pass up, so we took it. We are now the proud owners of the MyTouch 4G.

We absolutely love it!
Life changing...we'll never go back.
Words with Friends has been the recent app favorite
(sadly Jason dominates)

This winter season has also been the season of skiing! Before this year, Jason and I only managed to make it up a couple of times to enjoy the snow. This year, we have both gone close to ten times. I have definitely seen a huge improvement in my snowboarding. I feel so much more confident and it has become really enjoyable. I even gave in and tried skiing twice (but I'll talk about that in a later post when I cover February). My first day of hitting up the slopes this season was actually with my work. APX has really come through lately with several surprise perks; one of which included a free skiing day at Sundance. Sadly, the spouses were not invited, but my manager, three other supervisors, and I spent the morning shredding up the mountain and enjoyed a nice lunch at The Foundry Grill (I hadn't been for two years...and then I go twice within a week...funny how things work out). 

Jason also took Bryan for his first day of skiing, ever! Little did Jason know how much work he truly had cut out for him. Jason took him to Sundance and it was quite the first experience. To give you an idea, it took Bryan an hour and a half to make it down the half way mark of the first lift. An hour and a half!!! That's with Jason skiing backwards and practically holding Bryan up. Thanks to his enduring spirit, they went at it again...this time only taking ten minutes to make it down the slope. Since then, Bryan has had a love for skiing and has asked time and time again to be taken to the mountain. 

The final January arrival was Zoey Sainsbury. My friend, Kerstin, finally had her baby! She is the cutest little thing. Alisha and I brought Kerstin and Jed some dinner, and got to meet their sweet little munchkin.

I love the one-eyed monster!

That pretty much sums up our January of 2011...except for one crucial event: 
Jason's Birthday!
...and that deserves a post of its own!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

December's End

The final wedding of the year. Briana got married on December 29th. This meant another drive to Idaho, but one that would not have been missed. They had a beautiful marriage in the Idaho Falls Temple. She looked gorgeous, of course, and he looked handsome.

A couple of my favorite photos, courtesy of her photographer:

The gang at the wedding dinner the night before

The reception.
The place looked so beautiful! A lot of work went into making that evening wonderful...
and it was a success!
(If only the weather could have been more kind...freezing temperatures while loading the decor)

Also, here's a glimpse of the road conditions on our drive back home the following day:
The snowy winds were like ghosts dancing across the asphalt.
So cool!

The final night of the year, we got to spend with our long lost friends...Zach and Kaari. After graduation, they moved back to California to start their "real lives"....leaving us behind. We hadn't seen them since April so that was a fun surprise. We brought in the new year with Olive Garden and reminiscing about old times. 

In memory of Zach and Kaari:

And that concludes 2010....we did it!!!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Christmas Time!

The impossible task: to describe all of the joys and memories of the 2010 Christmas season in one post. Yes, I am about to attempt it.

Jason and I had an awesome Christmas season, including ward Christmas parties, work Christmas parties, dinner dates with friends, and all of that jazz. However, the real joys of Christmas time were centered around family.

Jason decided to carry on the Twelve Days of Christmas tradition and surprised me with many wonderful gifts, including: a chocolate orange, the Children of the Promise series (LOVE it...I recommend to all!), candy galore, air fresheners for my car, a coat stand, pillows, and more! I love it when Jason surprises me like that!

 (apparently Jason was trying to go with the rhyming, rather than the song rhythm)

The Sunday before Christmas was spent with my family. My mom asked each of us to come prepared with something to present or share for a Christmas program. Some may call Jason and I lazy, but we found an awesome slide show on YouTube with pictures of Christ assigned to Christmas music (hey, why redo something that has already been done). I think pictures and music can have a greater impact than words if done correctly (that was my justification). It might even pass for a great Easter video as well!

My sisters, however, really stole the show with their part of the program. Camry is genius! She found an old family video of Kimberly and herself dancing to a Christmas song, played it for us, and then surprised us all with an exact reenactment of it. They had spent several hours watching the old dance, relearning the choreography, and preparing to dance it for us. It was hilarious! I'm jealous I didn't think of anything like that. Wish I had pictures or video from it...sadly I don't. Camry and Kimberly definitely get props for their creative and comical contribution to the program.

Christmas of 2009 was spent with my family, so that meant Christmas of 2010 was our year with the Grubers. That meant my first Christmas away from home, ever! That may not be a big deal for some, but I take Christmas very seriously...I look forward to the month of December all year! I make it point to get at least a week off of work around this time. I am so thankful to Mitch, the night team Supervisor, for taking over that week between Christmas and New Years. I was so nervous that with my new promotion to supervisor that I would have to miss out on a lot of the Christmas holiday. Mitch was so nice and didn't let me worry a second longer; he offered to cover for me for the entire holiday. I couldn't have been more thrilled or grateful!

The night before we headed out to Alpine, Jason and I had a mini-Christmas party, opening up the gifts from my parents and siblings. Here's a peak at our Christmas moments at home:

Our tree (Jason even set up a moving train around the tree)

 If you look on top of the book shelf, you'll notice two white paper wreaths.
Bryan taught us how to make those in his part of the Christmas program.

Jason's gifts

Emily's gifts
(can't forget the famous Arbon Christmas cereal!)

And so the true Christmas gathering began. How do you sum up five days of utter happiness and bliss?!? Amy, Robby, Alli, Sean, April, Max, Karl, Nancy, George, and all of the grandkids were there to celebrate. That's seventeen people sleeping, eating, bathing, etc. in the same house! Complete chaos and complete joy! The Grubers totally took me in and made it an amazing "First Christmas Away From Home!" I absolutely loved it! George and Nancy were so thoughtful, they even got me my own box of Cocoa Puffs (my typical Christmas morning breakfast) just to make sure it was just right. 

Let the pictures begin:

 Love this picture of Capri!

Thanks to Alli we had night after night and bowl after bowl of the most amazing kettle corn I have ever had! She brought her Whirley Popper to share her special treat. Ironically enough, Jason and I had just given ours away at my work Christmas Party as a white elephant gift since we had never used it (never really knew how). Needless to say, after being treated by Alli, we totally regret giving it away and wish we still had ours!

We spent many hours watching stand up comedians like Brian Regan and Jim Gafagan. 

Lots of kitchen time for all of the amazing meals!

The nieces and nephews
Mya, Clara, Oliver, Harlan, Alex, and Capri

This was a typical spotting...the kids getting into any and all of the food
(especially Capri....she never STOPS eating)

The big Christmas Eve feast

The traditional Party Poppers with their toys and crowns

Next comes the Christmas Eve Nativity Scene. I tried uploading the video of it, but it kept giving me an error (I'll try again later). Now, I'm quite used to a longer and more serious nativity, but I must say, after this year's little scene, it's going to be hard going back! The angels never tried to flatten the baby Jesus in previous years. Nor have they ever shown such lack of focus. So great!

The official cast

Jason and I brought our TV to put in the family room with the hope of providing hours of entertainment. It definitely got its share of attention. We played Mario Kart, a motorcycle stunt game, Super Mario Brothers, and more. This picture captures the real "excitement" of the video games. This is also where we enjoyed the evening hours of comedy shows and kettle corn.

I will be getting one of these chairs when I have kids! So awesome!

 Christmas morning!

Clara being a diva

There are always competitions when the Gruber boys are together. In this intelligent contest, the purpose was to see who could blow the most air into the balloon. Jason still boasts about beating out all of the men. We're all so proud, Jason... :)

It was so different being in the "aunt" role this Christmas. Up to this point, I had always been on the "receiving" end of Christmas...Santa was coming to visit me. This year it was about Santa visiting the grand kids. Not that one way is better than the other, but it definitely made me excited to start my own Christmas traditions with my own family some day. There's something about seeing kids' eyes light up when they open their gifts that makes me so excited for that day. And I know that Jason is itchin' even more than I am. Maybe soon? We'll see. 

Other fun holiday activities included swimming at the Lehi Rec Center, skiing at Brighton (just the boys), and sealings at the Oquirrh Mountain Temple.

The time sadly came for Jason and I to leave the Gruber clan and head to Idaho for yet another cousin wedding. It was definitely sad to be the first ones to bid farewell. It was such a fun and memorable Christmas. Thanks again, Grubers, for sharing such a wonderful time with us!