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Friday, December 31, 2010

Day One Hundred Eighty-Four

Why is it at the end of each year, we all ask ourselves, "Where did the past year go?" I can't even remember the beginning and now I'm at the end - wow, it's gone fast! I look forward to every day and every year ahead of me, but I miss those moments past. Here's a little review of what went on in my 2010 life.

My dad and stepmom came to visit us at the beginning of the year

My little sister Jessica got married to Andy

We went to the beach. A lot.

Brandon went to NTC, and then he came back

I turned 23 in April

We watched the sunset at our marriage retreat

We celebrated our second anniversary

Brandon's family came to visit

We took our professional photos on the beach

I said goodbye to my best friend :(

Two babies were born

I spent two weeks in Canada

I had some fun in the sun at Wet N Wild with Christina

Brandon turned 25 in September.

My oldest sister Jennifer visited me in October

I spent Christmas and the last week of 2010 with my family in Colorado

And soooo much more!! It's be a very busy year!

Tonight's festivities? Well, I got home in the afternoon after a long flight, then I grabbed Dexter and headed to Christina's for some crab legs and counting down the NYC New Years! Now I'm exhausted and it's time for bed!

Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Day One Hundred Eighty-Three

Ah, my last day in Colorado. It's bittersweet, really. Bitter because I had to say goodbye to my mom and sister. Bitter because I don't know when I'll see my lovely home state again. Sweet because I get to go back to my home, my pets, and my schedule. Bitter because I have to go back to work!

This morning started out good. I went to the gym with my mom and really pushed myself with the weight machines. I hope I don't feel it too much tomorrow! I will say, my knees ache a bit, so that has to be good. Right?

The snow started once we got home. It made me so angry because I had the whole day planned out and it wasn't going that way. I get grumpy when my plans change! Anyway, eventually we said goodbye to Jessica and Andy, and got out of the house. First stop was the post office to mail myself some brakes we had bought for my car. Sorry, Brandon, they definitely weren't going to fit in my luggage. Second stop was Vitamin Cottage to pick up three large garbage bags full of leftover produce for my mother-in-law, who uses it all to feed her chickens. Last stop: My in-laws.

They were wonderful and agreed to drive me to the airport tomorrow, since they live right by it. My mom hung out a bit with us but not nearly as long as we had hoped because of the snowstorm coming in. I spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, Mallory. Oh! Remember that yarn I bought at the beginning of my trip? Check out what they made:

Aren't they awesome? They're drying out by the fire right now and I can't wait to be able to wear them around the house. They fit like socks! I love it. :)

Well, I better go to sleep now... got to wake up nice and early for my flight. I hope it doesn't get delayed or canceled because of this storm!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Day One Hundred Eighty-Two

Grab a calculator. Open it up. Type in 365 and then divide it in half. How much is that? Look up at the title of this blog post.

Yep! Halfway!

Six months will officially be on Saturday, which is the first of the month, but today technically is halfway. I've been looking forward to 182 days since Day One. Why? Because One Hundred Eighty-Two means that now every day that passes, I'm on the downhill. Now I have R&R to look forward to, and then him coming home, and every month that passes means less months ahead than before. Halfway means that it's looking up from here!

I had a good, relaxing day with my family. I slept in and then we hung out pretty much all morning and into the early afternoon. Later, my mom, sister Jessica, her husband Andy and I went to see How Do You Know? at the theatres. It was so-so. Then we had an AMAZING dinner at Texas Roadhouse. Wow, I missed that place too!

We rounded out this wonderful night with Yatzee and then Bananagrams. Games are so much fun with my family. I only have one more day left here in Colorado and tonight is the last night with my mom. Tomorrow I'll be at my in-laws because they live right near the airport. I'll miss being around family, but I'll be glad to be home and back to my babies!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Day One Hundred Eighty-One

I have seen not one, but two vans on fire today. Seriously.

The first was when we were driving home from Denver. My mom had an interview in the early afternoon so she dropped Jessica, Andy and I off at the mall to hang out while she did her thing. I bought a few cute t-shirts in the process and got some yummy Chick-Fil-A for lunch. Anyway, it's nearing 4pm and the highway is backed up in a spot where it would only be backed up for two reasons: snow or car accident. It definitely was a car accident! A minivan was smoking and as we drove past we saw its engine on fire. Geez.

So then the second was just recently. After a few hours of playing Bananagrams with everyone, I met up with my stepbrother Matt and some mutual coworkers (my old ones) at TGI Friday's for dinner. It was great to see everyone! Some of us went back to Matt's to hang out before I headed home.

Let me set up the scene: My mom and stepdad's house is in the forest, so you have to drive through a small town and then up a hill to get to it. Well, at the top of the hill the road curves. Not that much, but enough. As I was nearing the curve I saw flames. Huh. So I reached for my phone, ready to call 911, and slowed down. Once I turned the corner I saw a big van crashed into a tree and engulfed in flames. There was a guy lying near the van, another on the phone (who had to be living in the neighborhood), and a young kid who had been driving by and stopped. I stopped to ask if I could help. I guess the guy was a drunk driver and had crashed. As I'm talking to the kid the guy gets up and tries to limp away, but he's definitely not looking good. The guy on the phone told me to move my car, but there really wasn't much I could do. I could hear sirens in the background anyway, so I said bye. And that is why we shouldn't drive drunk, right everyone?

So yeah, that's a lot of vans on fire for one day!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Day One Hundred Eighty

Merry (fake) Christmas!

I got the grand opportunity to sleep on the couch last night and let me tell you, it sucked! lol. It wasn't too horrible but I kept waking up, partly because I was hot, partly because I was sleeping on a couch, and partly because my chain-smoking stepdad spent most of the night in the loft and all the cigarette fumes were choking me...

I got up right before 7am and helped my mom get the Christmas breakfast ready. Not too long after that the boys woke up and came out to see all the gifts. Grant was the cutest, he just kept saying "Whoooa! Whooooa!" In our family we can open the stockings before everyone is awake, so we all went to see was "Santa" brought us. I have to say, our Santa rocks at stockings!

A little later everyone was lined up and we began doling out the presents. The kids of course got the most and it was great to watch them tear through their stuff. I only had a mini-meltdown once when Bob, my brother-in-law, shot me in the face with a Nerf gun, and then Blake shot me in the face too. I wasn't so pleased. I don't mind getting shot, but not in the face! Anyway, my Secret Santa was my sister Shannon and she gave me a pretty homemade necklace, a notebook, and Bezzerwizzer, a board game! It rocks too. I also got an umbrella yesterday from my mom and wrapped it myself and put it under the tree. ;)

After we all showered and I chatted with Brandon some, Jessica, Andy and Jennifer, and me, all went out to Target to buy some stuff. I got a couple Blu-Ray's there. Then we stopped at Wal-Mart and I bought myself Just Dance 2 for the Wii. SO EXCITED TO PLAY!

We played some games, hung out, then had an awesome Christmas dinner that my mom cooked up. She's a great cook. Jenny left pretty quickly after dinner since it was getting a bit later, and Shannon and her family followed soon after because they had to leave early for North Dakota the next day. I then convinced the rest of us (except the parents) to play hide-and-seek. I rock, I won't lie! Haha. Then we stewed in the hot tub for a bit, then played more Bezzerwizzer. Now I'm in my room and yawning!!

I thought, in light of the Christmas spirit, I'd show you some photos of our last Christmases together.

Christmas 2006 - Our first as a couple. Don't we look great? ;)

Christmas 2007 - No good photos! Sorry! We spent it apart I believe...

Christmas 2008 - Our first as a married couple, our last with the family.

Christmas 2009 - Our first in Hawaii and all alone. We made a great dinner and had a fun time!

Christmas 2010 - Our first Christmas apart. We made the best of it though.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day One Hundred Seventy-Nine

Whoa it's crazy in here! Right now I'm surrounded by my sisters, all three, and we're sharing gross stories about our significant others. Sorry Brandon ;)

My day started out fairly calm! My mom and I headed off to the mall to finish my Christmas shopping. She got more than I did! But everyone is shopped for and we had a wonderful time. I love hanging out with my mom!

When we got home we took the boys, Shannon, and the dogs, out for a hike through the forest. My mom and stepdad's house is in the middle of the forest on a few acres, so there is plenty of space to roam. It was a fun hike and the boys loved playing with sticks and looking for bears. They were getting tired, so when we reached home we all kind of chilled for a bit.

I headed up to Denver before dinner with Shannon and her family to meet at Jennifer's apartment. We were having dinner with all of us with my dad. It was fun, if a bit crazy once Jessica and her husband Andy arrived. (Have fun keeping track of all these people haha). My dad got me a $50 gift card for Target. Yay shopping!!

Once we got home it was a bit crazy again. We finally got the boys to bed and then started putting out the presents. Santa came and he brought tons of toys for the kids! I can't wait to see everyone's faces tomorrow. Our Christmas will be great tomorrow! We spent some time giggling and fooling around before Jessica went back to her husband and to bed. I miss having all of us together!

(Side note: Brandon has become obsessed with his new video game. I love it! lol)

Here's a photo of Grant with a monkey from the zoo yesterday

This is my mom and the boys on our hike

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Day One Hundred Seventy-Eight

Merry (real) Christmas!

It certainly didn't feel like Christmas today in this house because we're extending it a few days. I was dimly aware that it was the 25th of December, and I acknowledged it, but it wasn't our Christmas, so it felt off. I suppose it was just an ordinary day!

Brandon called me and woke me up with a Christmas phone call. He was very happy with the gifts I got him! He got a movie, a CD, two video games, some macadamia nuts, a space pen, a mind puzzle thing, and a chocolate orange. That's just from me! He also got a box from my dad and stepmom, a box from his parents, a box from my sister, and a box from our neighbors. It was a good Christmas for him and he seemed very happy.

You know, I'm not feeling too distraught over us being apart for the holidays. I guess I never got a big attachment to spending certain days with certain people. Sure, I wish he were here, but I'm not getting depressed because he isn't, you know? I just always took the attitude that there was nothing we could do about this deployment so we better make the best of it. I have my bad days, believe me, but most days are good. We're just in a good situation with this deployment! And hey, I get to spend next Christmas with him!

This morning after our phone call I headed to the gym with my mom. It was nice since no one was there! Then after lunch we headed up to the Denver Zoo to meet Shannon, Bob, and the boys. It was a good time! I wish I had more photos but they are lost somewhere in cyberspace. I'll try to get you some tomorrow!

Mom outside the zoo.

Grant looking through the glass.

Blake and Grant

Tomorrow our Christmas festivities really begin with a Christmas-ish dinner with my dad and stepmom and all my sisters! My little sister is driving up tomorrow, I can't wait to see her.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Day One Hundred Seventy-Seven

Happy Christmas Eve! Oh, and Merry Christmas to Brandon, all the way on the other side of the world.

Honestly, our "Christmas" won't be until the 27th. We're waiting until my little sister Jessica and her husband can get here before we all celebrate. That's fine though! We will wake up on the morning like it's Christmas and we'll open our stockings, eat our food, open gifts, celebrate, enjoy each other's company, and then have a big feast. I can't wait for Christmas!

Tomorrow we're going to the zoo "with the Jews, Agnostics and Jehovah's Witnesses," as my mom has said several times today. ;)

Today was a good day. It was a lazy day, but that's ok, I hardly ever get lazy days anymore. Or I don't allow myself to have them. My mom and I left in the morning for Costco in search of poppers/crackers, but they were sold out! Boo. We did buy a whole bunch of other stuff while we were there. We then made a run to Kohl's. Oh, I miss that store so much. After that we stopped at Safeway and then made our way home - that killed a few hours.

At home, it was relaxing time! We had lunch and then I helped her set up her new Kindle. Then we read for a bit, I threw the ball for one of the boarders dogs (my parents rent out some rooms and they have two boarders right now), ate dinner... it was nice. After dinner my mom and I played three games of Scrabble, none of which I won, and then three games of Yatzee, one of which I won!

Now I'm actually feeling tired at a reasonable time. I think I might relax a bit and wait for Santa. ;)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day One Hundred Seventy-Six

Hey all!

I had a wonderful day skiing with my stepbrother Matt and his boyfriend Mike. I got up nice and early (5:45am!) and was ready for them to pick me up. We got to Keystone like two and a half hours later and were ready to hit the slopes. Mike had never been skiing before so he was getting nervous as we climbed higher and higher. We helped him learn a bit at the learner's slope until he sent Matt and I off while he practiced. We did a few runs before coming back to take him down the beginner's slope. He started picking it up and was doing real well!

At the bottom we stopped for lunch and I sent a quick message to Brandon. We then split up - Matt wanted to go faster, so he hit some scary hills on another mountain. I stayed with Mike because I didn't really want to go faster than the beginner hills. Sure, I've been skiing a few times, but I don't want to hurt myself. I told him, I just wanted to ski! So we went down the beginner's slope together once and then went back up again. Halfway down he told me to go ahead and meet at the bottom. We decided that this would be our last run because we were both aching and exhausted.

We got some hot chocolate (yum, peppermint! My fave!!) and waited for about an hour for Matt. I read some of the book I brought and Mike wandered around the stores. The ski resorts just have a cool atmosphere to them. This was getting towards the end of the ski day. Finally, Matt came down the hill and we started home!

I only freaked out a little bit during the drive... I hate winter driving, I hate driving in the mountains, and I especially hate not being the driver!

At home, it was leftover lasagna, seeing my oldest sister Jenny, meeting her boyfriend and his mom, chatting with people, sitting in the hot tub for a bit, and then Yatzee with my mom. I won. ;)

The view from the top. The pictures never do it justice! We could see all the surrounding mountains plus Dillon Reservoir. Beautiful!

My skiin buddies. Mike in front, Matt at the back.


Matt took a pic of me. I looked like a twelve year-old boy in my little outfit, but I was warm and cozy.

At the end of our trip - tired but happy! (yeah, they're super tall)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Day One Hundred Seventy-Five

Hello from Colorado!

I have spent the last two hours being chased by two little boys with Nerf guns. My nephew Blake wanted me to run and then die when he shot me. How sweet, huh? ;)

Here's a quick review of my flights:
1. 5 hours to Los Angeles. Had an empty seat between me and another girl, who just passed out and then later complained about Delta being slow and possibly missing her connection. Plenty of turbulence because of storms. 20 min layover.
2. 1 hour 15 min to Salt Lake City. Another empty seat between me and a bald guy who asked me a lot of questions. Creepy? Plenty of turbulence! 30 min layover.
3. 1 hour 15 min to Colorado Springs. Sat beside a nice college student from Washington who was flying home for Christmas too. Even though we were on a small plane, it was the smoothest flight and the best landing. Yay.

So today was a busy day! I had to meet my stepbrother and his boyfriend Mike at the Outdoor Rec office at the Air Force Academy to rent skis and buy our lift tickets. We had to meet at 9:30. I was running a bit late because I had to drive my stepdad's Saab and it sucks. And the weather has been beautiful today. Not. Haha. Cold and a bit snowy. Mostly just COLD.

Nice huh?

After we got our skis we went to Target for a bit, then I jumped over to Chipotle to meet Brandon's mom and sister for lunch. Ahhh Chipotle. It was as delicious as I remembered!

Best burrito ever.

After lunch we went to the knitting store because Brandon's mom is going to knit me some new slippers! I chose purple and a light green as my colors - they're so pretty. I can't wait to get them! Here's me spinning the yarn into a ball:

I then met my stepbrother at the university and we walked around to see all the new buildings that were finished when I left. Wow! It's changed! I wish I were back in school. I was anxious to leave for a lot of reasons, but I really liked going to school. It's starting to look like a real university now!

I came back home and hung out, helped my mom with a test, played with my nephews, relaxed. They were scared of me at first but when I started helping them with the Nerf gun they opened up. They've been shooting that thing for hours... mostly at me, but whatever, at least they're liking me! And they remembered my name too. They're so big I can't believe it!

Alright, I should go to bed soon. I have to get up nice and early to head up into the mountains. I hope the weather pans out!

Day One Hundred Seventy-Four

This is a schedule post because today I left early on an airplane.

(that's me in the back!)

I probably looked like this most of the time. Through all three flights. Yes, three. 3. Trois. Tres. I decided to do two layovers because I'm thrifty with money and love the thrill of taking off. Yeah, right.

But if all goes well, I've arrived in my beautiful home state!

And hopefully when I wake up in the morning, I can look out my window at these beautiful mountains.

(ok, I won't see this view exactly... but we can wish)

And I'll be spending 9 whole days with most of these wacky people.

So wish me luck and a good night! I'll be back to regularly scheduled blogging tomorrow. I'll keep you up to date on what I'm up to and how cold I am, because I will tell you now, my Hawaii-conditioned body won't be ready for cold. It's not used to it anymore!