Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Bowl Game, Bowling & a Sweet Discount

My dad & Jake's dad have the same birthday - December 29. We both worked that day this year, so we didn't get the celebrate their birthdays with them on that day. We celebrated with my dad on December 30th - the day of the BYU vs Tulsa Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl Game! We had my dad, Brynne, Blake, Jeannene & Popper over to watch the game with us. Since kickoff was at 10 AM our time, we started out with some yummy "breakfast" - cinnamon rolls and milk. We snacked on pretzels until half time and then had crock pot chicken sandwiches - I got the recipe from Ashli who got it here. Jake and I made this a few weeks ago and it was WAY too spicy - but for some reason this time it turned out great. And it is so easy! I love cooking in the crock pot. Then, in traditional BYU fashion, Jeannene & I would randomly find something to clean during a commercial break because BYU doesn't win if the house isn't clean. Yes, I know that the cleanliness of our house has nothing to do with BYU's success but it is a way to get out my nervous energy!

Gorgeous Jeannene
Happy Dad!
Brynne, Blake, Popper & Jake
The game was really good - it started out not so awesome and it turned amazing. Just before the half, we were down 14-3 and punted the ball and Tulsa fumbled on the return and we scored on the next play! That made it so that at the end of the half, we were only down by 3! The second half had some absolutely amazing plays though - way better than the first half! At one point, Riley Nelson {our quarterback} was running east and getting ready to throw west {so across his body} and Matt Reynolds {an awesome lineman} had just been tackled and lost his helmet and he still got up and tackled a defender that was about to tackle Riley so that Riley could throw the ball to Cody Hoffman in the endzone and touchdown Cougars!! That made it 17-14. Some time in the 4th quarter Tulsa scored a touchdown and we were down 21-17. We had no timeouts left and there was 30 ish seconds left on the clock and it was 4th and 9 and we went for it because we needed a touchdown and Riley Nelson didn't have anyone open so he ran the ball up the middle and we got the first down and the clock stopped. We were on the 10 or so yard line and we ran on the next play and gained a few yards but not enough for a touchdown and the clock was still running and we were out of timeouts so they hurried to line up and were intending to spike the ball and then Riley Nelson changed the play and pretended to spike the ball and we scored a touchdown!!!!!!!! BYU wins! YAY!!! We broke a school record for winning 3 bowl games in a row - kind of a sad record to break but we broke it nonetheless! We were all screaming and jumping up and down and it was just awesome.

After the game, I took my dad home and then Jake & I had a nap and woke up to go bowling for New Years Eve Eve. We usually spend New Years Eve with Jake's family but because New Years Day is a Sunday this year and they all have 9 AM church they decided to do New Years Eve a day early and invited us to come along. We went bowling at Jack & Jill in Lehi and had so much fun! We went with Jody & Teresa, Chris & Tandy and their 4 kids, Britt & Jeremy and their 3 kids, Colby & Becca and their 3 kids, Dustin & his girls & mom :)

Me & Jake
Jake & Jeremy laughing
Me & Emrie
Jake sneakily pulling up Emrie's hood
Emrie strikes a pose
Me & Kenzie
Cute Kenzie
After we were done bowling, we went home to check on Jake's dad. He had got something in his eye while he was working on his birthday and had to go to the eye doctor to get it out. No fun at all :( He was feeling much better, just a little squinty in his eye. We hung out there for a bit, watching TV and playing with the girls and then we left to get gas for the cars.

That is gas for BOTH of our cars - THANK YOU SMITH'S!!!

Christmas Day {with the Knowltons}

Christmas Day was pretty early at our house - I woke up at 3 AM and decided to try to go back to sleep before I woke Jake up for presents and then woke up at 6 and made Jake get up too! I love Christmas so much and I was so excited to open presents!!

After Santa had come
Max seeing what Santa brought him
Pedi Paws {for trimming his nails}, treats, some new toy balls and a new blanket!
Max got us a vacuum!!
Jake got a cordless drill
Jake got me the most gorgeous earrings EVER all by himself that match a necklace he gave me for Christmas in 2009
Jake got a salt and pepper shaker that is shaped like an hourglass
Jake got a floor jack as well for the Mazda and I got a magnified mirror for the bathroom counter and a new vanity bench for the bathroom. Yay for awesome Christmas presents! After we had cleaned up the wrapping paper mess, we made breakfast! We had belgian waffles with strawberries & whipped cream and hickory smoked thick cut bacon. Jake was SO excited for the bacon all week - he kept asking if we could open it early but I stood my ground and made us wait until Christmas. It was so worth the wait!!

So excited for bacon!
Jake was so excited to eat our yummy breakfast :)
After we were done eating, we piled all the dishes on the kitchen counter and laid back down for a little while to take a nap. We woke up and hurried to get ready so that we could go to Sacrament Meeting with my family. Their ward started at 11 AM and ours was at 9 AM, so we got 2 extra hours of sleep by going with them. There was a wonderful Christmas program where the congregation sang most of the Christmas songs in the Hymn book and then Leslie Jones gave a wonderful talk about the excitement of babies and how the shepherds and wisemen must have felt to see baby Jesus. Leslie was one of my young women leaders and I just adore her so it was AWESOME that she was speaking when we were there!

Afterwards, we went home and changed our clothes and I hurried to make the funeral potatoes that we were taking to my parents house. I got the recipe here and it turned out SO good! I stacked all the dishes on top of the ones from breakfast and we ran to go to Jake's parents house to talk to Clint. It was so good to talk to him! He has sent us emails weekly and included some funny stories about "horror" mission experiences, but while we were on the phone he told us a few of them and they were SO much funnier because of his sound effects. He has been out for almost a year! I can't believe it! I feel like it's going by pretty quick but Mom McClellan sure doesn't think so!

Then we went back to my parents house to have lunch and open presents! We had some of my mom's famous Night Before Christmas casserole but this year she put hashbrowns in it instead of bread pieces - SO yummy!! Then after we were finished eating, we opened presents! Here are some highlights of gift opening!

Mom opening her family blocks I made
Close up of the blocks
Roo gave Popper a cute scrapbook and Popper gave her a huge hug after she opened it - so cute :)
Buzz got Max a stuffed cow & reindeer - the cow's life ended yesterday when his stuffing came out EVERYWHERE in our living room
Jake taking pictures of me opening my garments!!
Popper got Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in paperback! She is WAY into Harry Potter right now!
Jeannene's UVU hoodie!
Poppa's T Shirt we got him - Grandpa Established 1988
Rick modeling his new temple shoes {he had slippers before and wasn't a fan}
We gave my mom the family block letters {pictured} and BYU stuff for her office - a paperweight, a beanie baby of Cosmo, and a "Y" I crafted from Wood Connection. We also went in on a book from Shutterfly with Jeannene & Popper of family pictures - my mom really liked that. We made Rick a matching "U" for his office. We got the Mummy & 17 Miracles on Blu Ray, a Pampered Chef stoneware for making the Night Before Christmas casserole in, a super cute pink moc croc wallet, a Utah Temple Passport so that I can track each temple in Utah I go to {since it is a goal of mine to visit every temple in Utah}, a beautifully illustrated copy of The Night Before Christmas, and 2 pictures from Deseret Book:

A Picture of the First Presidency with a vinyl I made at Tessa's that says "Follow the Prophet"
And a picture of Christ by Greg Olsen called "Lost and Found" 
After we were done with presents, we had our Christmas feast of glazed ham, funeral potatoes & green bean casserole. I know there was other stuff there, I just don't remember what haha. The ham was amazing as always - my mom makes the BEST ham. Then we had pumpkin & apple pie - oh so yummy. Shortly after we finished eating, Jake and I left to go home and get some sleep. Santa was going to come Christmas Day night at the McClellan house since Kenzie & Emrie had just flown into town from Arizona so we needed to get some sleep for that! It was an awesome Christmas - aren't they always? 

Christmas Eve

Sorry I got so behind on my blogging! I took so many pictures this Christmas so I want to make a seperate post for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day & the day after Christmas. We started out Christmas Eve the not so fun way since it is Saturday - waking up to go to work. Well I had to go to work - Jake has a nice long 4 day weekend. But I only have to work Saturday a few more times!

When I started at the bank, I worked Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday 1-6 and Saturdays from 8-1. I changed last January to work Tuesday & Thursday 12-6 and Saturday 8-1. My other "half" - Tessa - works Monday Wednesday & Friday 12-6. The shift originally was all hers - she worked 6 days a week. Every week. I could not do that. So anyway, back to me not having to work Saturdays anymore {I am rambling - while typing! Awesome!} Tessa is having a baby so she won't be working at the bank anymore {WE ARE GOING TO MISS HER SO MUCH!} so now I get her schedule and will work Monday Wednesday Friday! I work 6 days a week in January until Jessica, Tessa's replacement, is trained and ready to take over my schedule of Tuesday Thursday Saturday.

So I woke up Christmas Eve morning and got ready for work and left to come to work while Jake & Max laid on the couch watching Flying Wild Alaska on the DVR {I had to drag Jake to bed the night before - he was having way too much fun with the Apple TV}. Work was really slow - not many customers seemed to know that we were open so I spent most of my shift searching the internet for things I don't need haha. Don't worry - I didn't buy anything!

After I got off of work, Jake & I went to my parents house to have lunch. We had quite a spread - vegetable tray, shrimp, turkey salami, deviled eggs, sushi {MY FAVORITE!} and meatballs with some really big cookies Poppa brought from California {one of these cookies was a pistachio cookie but everyone kept calling it the pickle cookie because it was green haha}.

Miss Jeannene and her cute new hair cut putting the final touches on the food!
After we were done eating, we talked for a bit and then played Yahtzee. I haven't played that in a way long time so it was fun to get to play it with the family! Then we left my parents house to spend the rest of Christmas Eve with the McClellans. We went to Texas Roadhouse with Danny, Wendy, Dustin & Grandma Robbins. Texas Roadhouse is one of our favorites but because we ate so much lunch at my parents house we didn't end up eating anything! Afterwards, we left to go to the Salem Cemetery for the candle light remembrance vigil they have each Christmas Eve. We went with Jake's Uncle Rick and cousins Kenna, Cassidy, Kayson & Maddie. Jake's Aunt Christy was there too {she is Rick's mom, and Jake's dad's sister - confusing I know}. We went to the Salem cemetery because Jake's Aunt Sue is buried there. She passed away in June 2009, right before Jake & I got married.

Sue's grave with the lights around it
Pictures of the kids that Kenna collaged for Sue for Christmas
Some of the Chinese Lanterns that were released into the sky
After we were finished at the cemetery, Jake & I went to see the one of the many dancing houses in Utah County. There is one right by Jake's parents house so we went to that one because it was close! I love going to dancing houses - the lights change to the beat of Christmas music that is on a radio station that you listen to in your car! SO cool!

The tree as it changed colors

Then we went home and got ready for Santa to come! We watched Christmas Story and part of It's A Wonderful Life on TV.

Brownies & Milk for Santa {that Max wanted to eat}

Our family :)
It was an awesome Christmas Eve :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Can't top this

I try to think of myself as a positive person but I definitely have moments where the glass is half empty. Usually though, at the end of the year, I think overall on the positive about the good things that happened that year and look forward to the next year with anticipation and the good things that I hope will happen in the next year. This year though, I am not looking forward to anything next year because I don't think next year could top how amazing this year was.

Seriously - this has been the best year of my life. Jake & I had our 2 year anniversary and are doing great {which considering how hard to live with I am that is an amazing accomplishment on Jake's part}. We bought our first home - with 10% down. That's $17,300. In cash. We love our new home and our ward and our neighborhood. We have remained debt free {except our mortgage but that doesn't count} and are moving in the right direction towards building our emergency fund. I went through the temple and received my endowment. Brynne & Blake got married. We were able to go on several vacations - over the summer we went to San Francisco and we went to Las Vegas in November. We also went camping multiple times over the summer up Provo Canyon. Max got neutered and has turned into the most angelic, well behaved dog {minus the random barking at cars driving by late at night}. I only work 3 days a week now, and am about to have Saturdays off. Jake still loves his job and his schedule. Clint went on his mission! We have got to see Kenzie & Emrie so many times and do so many fun things with them, like going to the zoo and the This is the Place park. No one in our family has been sick and we haven't had any deaths {KNOCK ON WOOD!!!!!}. Our relationships with both of our families are awesome and we have just been so blessed - it has been an amazing year! I don't know how next year could ever top this!

Well ok, maybe if we got pregnant that might be better. And no I am not announcing anything. But I don't think that will be happening in 2012. Maybe though. Either way, 2011 was an amazing year and I really don't think 2012 can top it!

Christmas Eve Eve

Yesterday, I volunteered to work to help cover at the Bank since we thought it might be a little crazy. Friday's are usually pretty busy and with it being right before Christmas, it can be super crazy. It worked out great that I went into work, and while I was there Jake ran a few errands {thanks babe - I so appreciate you} and went and bought one of my Christmas presents - a Carhartt coat!

Jake got his Carhartt coat last winter and I have wanted one ever since. I mostly have wanted one because they have hoods and I don't have a coat with a hood. I haven't been able to find anything I like, since most of them are brown or kinda boyish looking and then I was told about the new coat that came out this year by Ashli {I work with her :)} She went to the Carhartt store and bought one a few weeks ago and I have been so jealous ever since, but I couldn't quite justify buying one since they are a little expensive. Well, I think $125 for a coat is kinda pricey. But if it's good quality and will last a long time then it ends up being worth it. And all of the coats I have bought in years past were roughly $30 or $40 bucks each and all ended up not being good quality and I replace them the following year. So I broke down and decided to get the coat.

I bought it on because I found the exact coat I wanted for $99! I didn't feel quite so bad about getting it when I was saving nearly $30! However, the seller had some serious issues and after over a week, they told me they wouldn't be sending it for most likely an additional week and asked if I wanted my money back. I was really bummed but decided to get my money back and just go to the Carhartt store to get my coat. It would be $125 instead of $99 but I wouldn't have to wait. While I was at work, Jake went and got it for me, and ended up getting a 20% discount so it was $106 with tax!!

When I got home from work I brought Cafe Rio with me. I hope they build one of those out in Saratoga Springs. But at the same time, I hope they don't. We would eat there WAY too often if it was any closer. After we finished eating, Jake asked if he could open a present too since I got to open one. I was really confused at first - I haven't opened any presents but then I realized he meant my coat so I agreed to let him open a present too.

The present he chose to open 
Max wanted to see what was inside too 
His face when he realized what it was...  
An Apple TV! 
Opening my coat 
I love it!! 
Afterwards, Jake immediately started to connect the Apple TV to the TV in the living room. We ended up needing to go to Wal Mart to get a new battery for the remote, but it was worth it - he absolutely loves it. Just like a little boy on Christmas.

Jake also brought in a gift from one of our previous neighbors when we lived in Lehi - Garin & Heather Granata. Garin was the Gospel Principles teacher in our ward and Heather works with Jake's mom - she is the owner/creator of Little Adventures. They got me this GORGEOUS picture of the Provo Temple, since that is the temple I received my endowment in. I absolutely LOVE it - I can't wait to hang it up!!

I love Christmas Eve Eve. And I love Christmas Eve. And I love Christmas - tomorrow is Christmas!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!