Wednesday, July 28, 2010

More Summer Fun

Warning: LONG POST

With pre-planning starting again on MONDAY (shouldn't it be a CRIME for teachers to work so close to July?!?), I realize I need to finish posting on our fun summer activities. Where to start?

When I went out to Utah for Shannon's wedding, I went a few days early so I could stay with two of my favorite friends ever. You know those kindred spirits that Anne talks about in Anne from Avonlea? Yep, Allison (and Alex - her hubby) are definitely some of mine. We spent three glorious days eating our favorite foods, laying out, loving their precious dogs, going to the temple, and hitting up the car wash. Yes, the tri-color foam is as amazing as it looks :) At the end of our time together my mom/sister picked me up so we could join the wedding festivities.

The morning of the wedding we celebrated my Houghtaling cousin Quinn's birthday by going to the BEST DINER in all of Utah: the Sunshine Cafe. EVERYTHING there is amazing. I'm not kidding. When Justin and I are in Utah we try to do three things: temple, Costa Vida, Sunshine Cafe.

I already posted about the weddings. Most of the rest of it doesn't have pictures to go with b/c I'm still learning to use a camera as often as I should. About mid-June Justin's mom, Kathy, came to visit us for a day and then we rode to the airport with Justin the following day to catch a plane to Utah. In that one day she was here we did SO much!

9 mini-loafs of homemade zuchinni bread
9 jars of homemade strawberry jam
8 jars homemade strawberry freezer jam
2 strawberry pies
1 loaf homemade wheat bread

Our house smelled SO good. And I was able to share the fruits of our labors with family/friends/visiting teachees. YUM! Never have I ever felt so domestic. UNLESS it's this past Sunday when we had my family over for a roast. We made more wheat bread, served it with our jam, and I MADE A PIE FROM SCRATCH. Two of them actually. Justin and I picked the blueberries. I made a filling. Made a struesel topping. MADE A PIE CRUST. Justin loved it. I think it wasn't quite perfect, but am very pleased at how well it turned out.

Anyways, so when Kathy and I got to the airport, because I'm the Delta employee's spouse and she's his mother, we fly on different priorities. So we waited around until about 3 or 4 until we were both cleared for a flight. I can honestly say that miracles happen when you fly stand-by. What a blessing!! We were able to go spend time with the MARVELOUS Badger women. We went to Costa Vida and played scattegories (sp?) and the next day went to Molly's baby shower. It was a wonderful, relaxing few days and I was reminded again of how much I love my in-laws and how great they really are. I would totally choose to be friends with each and every one of them, so it's just PERFECT that we're family and get to be close friends for forever!!!! :)

I also got to spend some time at my sister's house in St. George. It was tons of fun to play in her pool - half of it is a kid's water park type thing. We definitely made up our own obstacle course and giggled like we were 3 years old again. Thank goodness the fun-loving side never leaves us. She showed me a lot of St. George and introduced me to the Sweet Tooth Fairy little shop. AMAZING. I got the coconut cupcake and was reminded of our wedding cake. In love. Unfortunately we did a bad job of taking pictures (slash I'm still waiting on the ones she took on her camera), so I don't have anything to show for it.
Justin's birthday was July 2. We went to a Braves game for his actual birthday. We won bottom of the 11th inning. Great game. Fun seats. Then on Saturday the 3rd we went out for a sushi dinner - AMAZING rolls. And afterwards went into Atlanta to the Fox Theater to see Phantom of the Opera. It was SO good. Yay for birthdays!!!!

And yes, we did eat some of that octopus :)
Our cousins Holly & Brandon Cox are doing a long summer traveling across the country and back with their 5 kids. They were in PTC for the 4th of July and we LOVED spending time with them. It's fun to have such great cousins and to build relationships with them. I'm sure getting more and more excited for our Houghtaling Family Summit that's next summer.

The next weekend we went up to North Carolina to surprise Grandaddy (my mom's dad) for his 80th birthday. His birthday was actually in June, which added to the surprise :) But all his kids and 2/3 of his grandkids were there. Again, I didn't take tons of pictures, but I did take some of Dad, Claire, and cousin Lauren playing in the creek/the SC welcome sign.

This past weekend we took a short trip down to Orlando to visit our cousin Kendall who is working for the Disney College Program. She's SUCH a wonderful, kind, generous cousin that she gave us tickets for the day - PARK HOPPERS! We started with Hollywood Studios at 8 am, hit up Epcot for lunch around 1 or 2, then Katie and I went home around 5pm to rest while Justin/Claire hit Animal Kingdom. We all met back up at Magic Kingdom around 8pm and partied until the park closed at 3 am. Claire and I left just after 2, but what an amazing, magical place. It's fun to be at a place that celebrates families and dreams. I eat it up!

While the family was driving back on Friday, Justin and I went to Downtown Disney to get another Disney Christmas ornament for Christmas (annual tradition for 3 years now) and eat at the Earl of Sandwich. We kind of lost track of time and got to the airport in time to board a plane - FIRST CLASS. So it was fun that the magic extended throughout our journey home. Thank you Disney!

Phew! As you can imagine, it was a fun yet exhausting summer. After so much fun I feel like I need a vacation before school starts up again. What - you're saying that WAS my vacation? Dang it... I guess I'll have to hold out for Christmas when we're going on our family cruise!!! :)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Top Ten Life-Changing Videos!!!!

Who doesn't love getting distracted by YouTube every so often? So with the help of some dear people who've introduce me to these videos, and the wonderful tv that showed me some amazing commercials, here my list of 2010 TOP 10 Favorite YouTube Videos. These are in order - so #1 is my MOST favorite. Enjoy!!!

10. Shorewood Lip Dub: this group of high schoolers were responding to a lip dub challenge from their in-town rivals. They totally win b/c they filmed the whole thing BACKWARDS.

9. Flight of the Conchords: Sello Tape. LOVE it. (ps - the first 10+ seconds are black, I promise the visual will come)

8. Old Spice Commercial - they've done an AMAZING job lately and I saw this today and laughed out loud at the end.

7. Hanes Sock Commercial.

6. He was injured, injured bad. Cutest little boy EVER.

5. The Sound of Music - Antwerp Station

4. Heineken Closet Commercial

3. The T-Mobile Dance

2. The Office Musical (hint: watch until the VERY end)

1. Sienna Swagger Wagon

What are YOUR favorite videos?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Season of Love!

Sorry for the delay in posts - it's been a BUSY summer with lots of traveling. The most important events: WEDDINGS!!!

One of my best friends Amy got married in Orlando over Memorial Day weekend in the Orlando Temple. SUCH a beautiful temple.

The day before all the bridesmaids got mani/pedis. LOVED the massage chairs.
Renae and Amy:
Kelsey and Ashley:

Then we went to Downtown Disney for dinner. Did you think we'd be in Orlando and completely ignore the Disney magic? (I went by myself for lunch while others were still traveling, we went for dinner on Friday, then went back to window shop on Saturday after the happy couple left for their honeymoon).

Look who else came! SO good to see Joanna (Tolsma) Fountain. And YAY for Sarah and Brett!

What a BEAUTIFUL couple! This was their slow motion walking while smiling pose.

Like her hair? You should. Ashley and I did it. :)
Yay for being bridesmaids!!

And back to Downtown Disney for window shopping. What a MAGICAL weekend!!! (The only way it could've been better was to eat a Mickey Bar or actually see the Mick-ster himself.

The reception was two weeks later, post-honeymoon. I love my best friends for several reasons, one of which is that they are SO fun and love to have fun/dance, regardless of what other people are or are not afraid to do. Yay!!!

And yes, we are doing an EFY line dance. Can you move it like this? We can!

3 o r 4 weeks later I went out to Utah to visit friends and go to my cousin Shannon's wedding. It was in Sandy on a BEAUTIFUL Utah summer day.

Riley and Lauren were the cutest flower girls EVER. Riley kept HURLING the flowers to the ground.
As Greg is their bishop, he got to perform the ceremony!!!

Our camera stitches together landscapes. I think it turned out okay, but it is a little small. It was a BEAUTIFUL property and such a glorious day!!!

Our camera is also cool enough to zoom in enough that I could take pictures of them holding each other's wedding bands.

SO fun to see Abbott cousins! It's been a while since our last reunion, so it was lots of fun to go visit.

Water anyone?

Congrats Amy & Lorrin!

Congrats Shannon and Preston!

Love you all!