Monday, February 6, 2012

It's the End of the World As We Know It

. . . or so the Mayan's say . . .

January has actually been a relatively uneventful month. Tyson and I just worked away. It has been kind of exciting to have Tyson begin doing his wedding photography on his own. This past month he had three engagement photo shoots and two bridal shoots. January is the quiet before the storm at Creative Arts, and I just subbed a few extra ballet classes, and helped make some props.

Tyson's best friend, Chris, was in town for the first few weeks of January, so we went down to his brother's house in Salt Lake about three times a week during that time. We had a lot of fun playing games and holding Chris's new (born in December) niece Hattie. :)

Near the beginning of the month, blackberries went on sale for a really good price, so we bought several packages, and I tried out two new recipes: blackberry swirl pound cake, and blackberry crumble bars. Both were really good, and are definitely keepers! :)

The most exciting part of January for me was making Remick's birthday cake. :) He requested a chocolate cake shaped like Leonardo's (TMNT) head. Well, 1) I was pretty sure I couldn't yet carve a cake 3-dimensionally, and 2) if I couldn't do that, it sounded like kind of a boring cake. So, after much thought and some last-minute good luck, I was able to make Rem a cake that looked like Leonardo's whole body (including swords, thank you). It turned out way better than I thought it would, and I am still really happy about it! I even used light green frosting with green frosting gel between layers to be "the secret of the ooze." :D

We had Rem and Amelia over for his birthday on the 22nd, and ate homemade pizza and breadsticks for dinner. After dinner we played Scattergories, then finally opened and played Castle Keep! It was really fun! And then, of course, we ate Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle for dessert. :D

On the 29th, we went down to Spanish Fork to celebrate Parker's 21st birthday. We had a yummy dinner, and then all four brothers played Dominion together. And afterwards we ate cake and opened presents. It was good to see everyone and hang out together again. :)

Aaaand that's it!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

It's Been a Long December

and there's reason to believe maybe this year will be better than the last. :)

It's been another whirlwind month here in Bountiful. :)

Our ward Christmas party was Friday the 9th. After work that afternoon I came home and baked five pounds of potatoes, then walked to the ward building to set up decorations. I drastically underestimated the amount of candy needed to scatter across the tables, but Brother Maynard came to my rescue and went to the store to get more. By the time everything was set up, pretty much everyone had already arrived, and I hadn't showered after teaching! Bleh! So I drove home (Tyson had come when he got home from work), and showered and changed and went back. The evening was really great, with an awesome highschool choir, a movie guessing game with the ward presidencies, Christmas songs, and a message from our bishopric. :)

The next day I finished baking all my Christmas cookies, and arranged them on plates with name tags for everyone. As part of that, I frosted about two dozen Christmas tree-shaped sugar cookies, which was probably the hardest possible shape to try to spread buttercream frosting on. Ugh! Never doing that again! Haha! Then Sunday afternoon and evening I went and delivered them all. Whew!

That Tuesday I subbed a ballet class for a fellow teacher, and then Wednesday right after work I went to a cookie exchange, and came back with a few dozen cookies and recipes. Yum! :D

Friday I packed my suitcase and dragged it up Main Street to work with me. :) As soon as my class was over, my totally awesome visiting teacher arrived and took me straight to the airport. My plane touched down in Michigan at midnight, and my parents were there waiting to pick me up. <3 It was so great to be with my family again!

Some highlights from the week were eating Just Baked cupcakes and watching "Kung Fu Panda 2" with mom and dad, seeing old friends at church, visiting with Naomi and her totally awesome - and newly expanded - family, reading dad's poetry, just spending time talking with mom and dad, having everybody over on Wednesday (and having them like my pies :D ), baking sugar cookies with Naomi and Arianna, making a two-person mosh pit with Rem at Beth and Cody's reception, and eating at Olga's Kitchen with mom, dad, and Remick. I was really sad to have to leave everyone without being able to spend more time with them, but I really had a wonderful trip. :x lovestruck

At the Detroit airport I was given the wrong ticket, and then our plane arrived late - and I had a short connection to make in Denver - but everything got straightened out, many thanks to the airport personnel and the speedy pilots. :) My plane arrived on time in Salt Lake at 11pm, but my luggage didn't appear until almost 12:30, and so we didn't get home until 12:45! It was so nice to see my sweet husband again and sleep in my own bed. :)

The next morning was Christmas Eve, and Tyson and I had to leave by 11am to meet with a couple in American Fork who was interested in booking with him to shoot their wedding. And they did! It was his first contract on his own, and very cool to finally have. :) Then we continued south to his parents' house and had a wonderful evening with Christmas dinner, a reading of Luke 2, and opening presents. By the time we left, I was exhausted, but Chris had just arrived from Maryland, so we stopped by and visited with him and his dad for a bit.

Tyson had been getting pretty sick that day, and it was a full-blown icky cold on Christmas morning. :( So I went to church by myself and sang in the choir. It was a really sweet and uplifting meeting. <3 Then I came home and made whole wheat waffles for brunch. Rem and Amelia came over for dinner, and afterward Tyson used his new pastry cutter set to make homemade chocolate-frosted doughnuts. We've decided that next time they need a clear glaze to sweeten them up, but aside from that they were pretty amazing. :) We had a fun evening talking and eating and watching "A Charlie Brown Christmas." :)

On Monday Tyson and I used our Christmas money and went shopping for new shoes. His shoes were falling apart, and my physical therapist has told me I need to get some high-quality support on my feet, so we were very grateful to be able to get new ones. That evening we went over to Chris's house again, too. :)

On Wednesday I took Tyson to work, did the grocery shopping, bought a few things at Deseret Industries, went to physical therapy, packed some dinner, picked up Tyson, and then we drove down to Orem again to spend the evening with Chris. Thursday I did some preparatory baking so that we'll have quick and healthy food once everything starts up again. Friday I cleaned the house - and then we got to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary! :) We went to P.F.Chang's to use a gift card we were given, but there was a 90+ minute wait. So we made reservations for 10pm, bought tickets to see Sherlock Holmes, grabbed a snack, watched the movie, and then ate dinner! It was a really fun night, and it was so nice to spend time together just having fun. :)

Yesterday I accidentally slept in ridiculously late (almost 11am!), but still managed to do my p.t. exercises, shower, do my visiting teaching, and bake a totally awesome apricot upside-down cake with honey cardamom sauce before we went to Chris's to ring in the New Year. :)

And today our ward began at 11am. :) *sigh of relief*

The End.