Wednesday, December 30, 2009

First Christmas

Hey guess what?! We are back from a great Christmas in Idaho (for 5 days, not the original 2), prolonged by the stomach flu.

And Guess what?? I didn't take a single picture to document! I was too busy just being there...and throwing up. (You're welcome for the mental image)

So here is a words.

Tremonton, Stockings, Presents, Two little boys and Santa Clause, Candy, Air Mattress, Gooding, Christmas Dinner, Family, Cherry Pie, Taboo, Muddy Buddies, Running laps in the Gooding School gym to work off Muddy Buddies (and pies, and candy, and chocolate, and ice cream...) Basketball, Apple Pie, Shooting 22's, Bowling, Cafe Rio, Cjane, Dairy Queen Blizzards, The Ultimate Gift - Christmas Movie, Throw Up, Rupert, Church, Sick, Presents, Lisa and Brandon's family, Word on the Street, 13, Mom's Christmas Goodies, Richard and Caitlin, Family, Prolonged Rupert Visit due to Illness, Naps with James, Long Drive back to Utah, Winter Storm, Good Times!!!

All in all, minus the sickness, it was a great holiday! It was our first Christmas together and we had lots of fun together and with family! I can't wait until next year! (Actually, yeah I can, I need a LONG HOT SUMMER!!!)

Oh and just FYI...Cafe Rio Salads do not taste good the second time around (if you know what I mean). We are SO done with that place for at least a month.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Forget Oprah, OUR Favorite things of 2009!!!

The year is coming to an end and let me tell you, what a wild ride it has been! James and I met, dated, got married, went to Hawaii, moved to a new little apartment, had a fun summer of Reunions, Family, Oregon Coast, Camping, Portland, Seattle Wedding, and finished it off with an awesome trip to Europe for two weeks. Not bad considering we had our first date Thanksgiving weekend of last year! Now, we are not bragging by any means, because this year shocked the both of us as well and I doubt we will have another year quite like this ever again.

Here is just a small recap of some of our favorite things, favorite obsessions, and favorite food of 2009...There is definitely a food theme happening here!

Okay, this is an obsession that has been going on for well over a year. And it is still going strong when you look into our pathetic display of food storage and there is 10 boxes stacked high. It is a beautiful sight. It will probably only last about 3 weeks though, tops.

This cozy little site goes back to our dating days and well into our marriage. Maybe that is all you need to know...

This obsession came this last summer. These are a great little treat, until you start having 3 or 4 or them at a time. We are trying to wean ourselves off of them now.

This was probably always an obsession, but it came full blasted when we had so many gift cards from our wedding to use up. We done used them all up and have been really good at not going back, so far.

Okay, yup, I told you there was a definite food theme here...this was always an obsession but it seemed to have gotten worse when we moved to our new apartment about 100 yards away from a Cafe Rio.

But who in the world can resist this naughty little jewel???

I borrowed the 1st season of 24 from my parents and for about one week, we were Jack Bauer freaks! We still need to borrow the other seasons, but I am scared as to what that will do to our social life.

We were both blessed to have AWESOME in-laws and families on both sides so we tend to go back home and visit Idaho...alot. But who can blame us?

Costco has provided us with some of the best date nights or lazy Saturday afternoon activities. One word: SAMPLES!!!

Being married to a Christmas Lighting dude, this has become a new found favorite of mine. I love seeing the lights and combinations of lights James puts on houses. He is very talented and the houses are always beautiful!!

This goes back to our dating days and just recently is making a comeback in our house. I LOVE to beat James at his own card game 13! Let me repeat. I LOVE to BEAT JAMES at his OWN CARD GAME!!!! :)

Let's not forget our very adventurous honeymoon in the beautiful land of Hawaii!!! We love that darn beach!!!

Breakfast at Dukes was definitely right up there...
And a few pics from our favorite place we stayed in Europe...ROME!!!

And that is our favorites list so far! How was 2009 for you??

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Temple Square: Year 2

The other night for Family Home Evening on a Wednesday (sometimes Monday just doesn't work for us) we treked out to Temple Square to see the Christmas Lights.

And it was very pretty, but it was also freakishly cold.

Now you know James is in the Christmas Lighting Biz, and we couldn't stop gawking about how immaculate the lights look. EVERY branch of the trees are covered in lights. It was pretty spectacular!

I love the history and awesome beauty of the Salt Lake Temple. It is very majestic.

The rest of the night was fun, we stopped at Mimi's Cafe for my favorite hot chocolate and then to make the night more manly, a stop at the Home Depot.

Happy Christmasing!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

New Pics Posted!

Check out my Photography blog here to see some new pics I posted of my brother's family. And have a great freezing winter day!!
Here is a just a sneak peak of their cute family DOWN ON THE FARM...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


This weekend I got the disturbed privilege of seeing just exactly what my husband does during these winter months of self employment.
He with the help of my dad put up Christmas lights on my parent's house. It was the first time the outside of our house had seen anything beyond a few lights wrapped around our light poles in our driveway. My mom was very excited!
I got to hold the ladder for James and hand him lightbulbs and important things like that. Then he got up on the roof and I was impressed...

Until I saw him with his body hanging halfway off the roof...Then I got kind of nervous.

Oh and we didn't get a picture of it, but I helped clip on the lights as well. My dad hoisted us both up in the bucket of the loader to the very top and we put lights on that way on the front of our house. It got tricky because our house has a big hill in the front. It was one of the scariest moments of our lives.

Not too shabby though...

Look at him, he looks so happy to be risking death! I don't think I was smiling when I took the picture.

But the house looks great! I wish I had remembered to get a picture of it all lit up!

Monday, November 23, 2009

One reason why dads are awesome...

So James has his own Christmas Lighting Business that he started about 4 years ago. He loves it and he does a great job. Earlier this year he was looking into buying a ladder rack for his truck so he could have more room in the truck bed for lights and tools and other manly things like that.

What we wanted looked kind of like this.

And it would have put us out about

600 bucks!!

That was a little bit hard to swallow.

And then I remembered my dad. He is a mechanic genius and is a whizz at creating and figuring out how to make and do things. So I asked him if he could help us out, make it cheaper - but BETTER quality (with that touch of dad love...)and in the process save us a few hundred bucks!

He agreed and set out to make us the most awesome ladder rack ever!

Not too shabby! (now if we can just get those signs on our truck straight...)

My dad even created a few custom made bells and whistles he thought of just for us! Thank you Dad, we LOVE IT!! Next time you are in the market for something rugged and man made and super expensive, check with my dad first and see if he can't make it for you cheaper and better!

Now for a little Shameless advertising...


For all your Christmas Lighting Needs, call the expert!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pioneer Woman Cookbook Signing!!

So...If any of you haven't heard of The Pioneer Woman...shame on you! Go here to check her out. She is hilarious and her cooking is amazing! She just released a cookbook and was on a tour around select cities in the US. For some reason though James had zero interest in attending a cookbook signing. Oh well, these things are better for a girls night anyway. So one of my best friends and cousin Teresa went with me.

Here we were PACKED in the room waiting for the Pioneer Woman to get here. The place was PACKED! It was a lot of estrogen.

She finally made it! She was so cute and funny! We just loved her.

Okay, I know it was a cookbook signing and I faithfully brought my cookbook to have it signed but I didn't realize it would be a madhouse, so instead of waiting another couple of hours in line, we left after her question and answer session. I don't really care about signatures, I just wanted to see if she was as awesome in person as she was on her website. And she was!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

One more thing to say about the French

It was our last night in Paris. We were standing on the top of the Arc of Triumph taking in the sights. The Eiffel tower was all lit up and beautiful, the whole city was alive and busy, but we couldn't stop staring at this madness. It just made us wonder...

How in the crap do these people survive everyday????

Friday, November 13, 2009

Photography Blog Update!

Hey go here to check out some sweet pictures of Europe on my Photography Blog!

Have a great Friday afternoon!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Last Leg - England!!

We survived the chunnel and arrived in London sometime in the A.M. We took the metro to our little hotel to drop off all of our stuff.

The view from our bedroom window. It was in a really pretty neighborhood!

We had ordered a room with a double bed, but it wasn't ready, so we decided to take a bed with two twins so we didn't have to drag our luggage everywhere with us until the room was done. (And after Paris...our bags were PRETTY FULL. (I think James was secretly glad he didn't have to fight for covers all night...)

Our lovely bathroom!

Westminster Abbey. We were planning on going in, but didn't realize it cost a freaking arm and a leg to visit a CHURCH...and we had both already been here, so we just took a picture instead.

Call us cheap, but we had been a bit Cathedraled Out!

Us and Big Ben!

Tower of London...I'm just warning you that we were a bit lame in London because we had both been here and seen all this stuff before, so we just took pics and opted out of paying the big bucks again!

The London Bridge!

We were there, but we really didn't see alot if you know what I mean. haha, just kidding!

James had to get some Fish and Chips, so he could drown the chips in malt vinegar. Ugh. It is definitely a English thing.

That Evening after a quick nap...I told you we had already done the London thing before...we hit up the Eye of London. New and exciting for both of us. It was pretty awesome too!!

It gave us some awesome views of the city! Later that night we went to see the play Chicago. If I could go back, I would have picked something different. The movie is definitely better, but I enjoyed it and James enjoyed his expensive nap!

Now the fun can begin!!!

James behind the right sided wheel of our car rental. James was excited to step back into his missionary life, but I was secretly scared to death.

Yikes! Nostrils!

Does anybody see anything wrong with this freeway???

Because we had been soooooo deprived of treats and chocolate and things like that we drove directly to the Cadbury Factory in Birmingham. About 2 hours north of London.

This is what we were thinking: WE LOVE CHOCOLATE!!!!!

The Cadbury Factory was fun...We waited a long time for chocolate, but it was well worth it! We also bought the biggest candy bar I have ever seen. Don't worry if you are coming the Rupert way during Thanksgiving, we might share a little!!

James's Mission Office!!!!

He loved everything about this part of the trip! We even went inside and talked with some of the AP's! It was good for this boy to be back to the country he loves!!

The part in bold is James's mission boundaries.

The Missionary Transfer board.

The Mission President's Office!

Our next stop had to be Asda. The British version of Wal-Mart. (It is actually owned by Walmart.) James had to get his special yogurt that he had been deprived of since his mission. And it really was that amazing!
We stopped to visit his friend Chris in Nuneaton.

And Dan!
The rest of our time in England was spent in a town called Derby. We stayed with Ann and Karl. They were some great friends of James while he was in England. They were awesome and so nice and gracious. We also got to know their 3 big dogs quite well too! We loved our time spent there with them I am an idiot and never got any pictures of them or their house or their dogs, but just know that they were so much fun!!

This is a church in a town called Eyam, that Ann took us to one day. I loved this town. It was hit with the plague back in the 1500's and the whole town had to be shut off from the rest of society. So to get supplies and food to the town, the people would go out to a field and drop money in vinegar (because they thought that killed the plague) and a list and people from neighboring towns would bring supplies to the field for them. Interesting!

Plaques like these were on all of the houses in Eyam.

James and I enjoying the English Countryside! Eyam was in a beautiful location!!

I did get one picture of Ann. Sorry Karl!!!

A little taste of what Eyam looks like.

The Eyam Cemetary.

Of course we had to get one of these shots!!!

Our last day in Engand checklist:
1. Full English Breakfast
2. Shopping!
*Cindy - Coat, Hat, scarf, and chocolate
*James - ties, ties, ties, and chocolate
3. Visit Nuneaton again (walk the Streets...)
4. See James's Flat in Nuneaton
5. Pictures and drive through lush English Countryside
6. Walk dogs in the beautiful park with Ann and Karl

Full English Breakfast...check! The breakfast consists of baked beans, hashbrowns,eggs, english bacon, toast, cooked tomato, and a cooked mushroom.


Walk the streets of Nuneaton...check!

More of James's Street...Cindy hat...check!

James's Flat...check!

Drive through the English Countryside...Check! Stopping at a cute little village on the way back to Derby and taking pictures in it (not on the list) but check!!!!!

Just know that I am ready for a photoshoot...

Any time... Any where... (James is learning...)

I love the English Countryside! There is nothing like it anywhere else!

Oh and we did walk the dog in the park with Ann and Karl but it was too dark to take pictures. That night we hung out with Ann and Karl, then the next morning, bright and early, we hoped in our car and took the two hour trek to the Manchester Airport. (With one last stop at Asda for more of those yogurts...)
That day was a long day, spent traveling. We got home late and tired, but so grateful we had a great trip and that we were kept safe! We were also glad to be back in the United States of America again.
While we saw so much beautiful country and loved every second of it we realized how grateful we are to live in this awesome country! There is no place like home!