Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mark Birthday Surprise

This year Mark's birthday surprise didn't come the usual way wrapped in a box with a big beautiful bow. Nope, this year it came on Southwest flight 438 from Sacramento. Eric and Kristin came and surprised Mark by meeting us at the same restaurant that we (together with the Price's) have celebrated their birthdays for years up in Sacramento. Mark was stunned when we walked into the restaurant and saw them sitting at the kitchen table waiting for us. We spent the weekend together at the beach, eating out, going to the temple, eating out, going to the movies, boogie boarding (not Kristin and I), whale watching and eating out.

A nice shot of Eric and Kristin--I love the beautiful background.
Aboard the whale watching boat.Not the boat we were on, but one can dream.

If You Don't Believe Me...

...Count the candles! The love of my life turned 40 this month, though no one believes it. So here's the proof for all of you who agree with me that Mark looks better than ever!! Happy Birthday Love!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Memory Lane

Each time a eat a Lindor truffle the same floodgate of memories opens wide. It was probably 19 years ago, the summer after my high school graduation, that my family (meaning my parents and the younger three kids) went on a two week, six country, whirlwind trip to Europe. We had a lot of fun, and definitely expanded our horizons--but I remember eating a lot of spaghetti (no matter what country we were in) because it was familiar. But what the chocolates always bring to mind is when we were in a train station waiting for our next sleeper car and my dad disappeared and resurfaced again with a bag full of pretty, shiny, red balls wrapped in cellophane. The first one I popped in my mouth was like heaven. I loved the silky chocolate center. They were rich and satisfying. My dad rationed them, so we only got one every once in a while, but that didn't matter because I knew he had more. They were the perfect companion to travel the rails with.
I didn't see them in the states for many years after that, and now they have become kind of ordinary. But for me, they will always represent train rides through beautiful countrysides, and time spent with my family. Ahhhh. I think I will go have another.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

They Did It!!!!!!

Congratulations to Abbie and Emma for completing the CANDY DEAL!! They were able to abstain from eating ANY candy for 12 whole months. The girls were amazingly diligent, never cheated or complained, and Abbie is even thinking about doing it again this year! Wahooo, Look what you can do when you set your mind to it!

New Year's Eve

We spent New Year's Eve with the Madsen Family. It was a beautiful day so we ventured off to Torry Pines Reserve to enjoy some hiking and panoramic views. Later that night we celebrated with Starwars and homemade donuts. Yumm!

Christmas Hightlights---Get Comfortable

Merry Christmas!! In the spirit of thorough documentation, I have compiled some photos from our Christmas celebration. We really enjoyed our time together over the past few weeks. Christmas dinner wouldn't be complete without the crowns and jokes from inside the tradional Christmas Crackers--a tradtion I brought home from my mission to England.

Matthew was in train heaven.

Emma got a new set of wheels!

In the middle of all the action on Christmas Eve!! We have such a good time when we get together as a family (minus Sarah and Jake).
One Sunday night in December we got together with friends to act out the Christmas Story from Luke chapter 2. Emma and her friend were sweet (and funny) little angels.
He's no pirate! He's a shepherd, of course.
Our narator and our super WISE man.
We spent one night looking at the Christmas lights at the Temple. My kids loved walking around.
Last year we came upon a living nativity in Rancho Santa Fe and we knew it would become a tradition. The kids loved the camel rides again this year.

Here we are with our new friends, the Curtis family. The Roman soldiers are keeping us in line.
Abbie and Emma sang in a Children's Christmas Choir this year as part of a Choir Concert put on by our stake. I have never seen such a beautifully done choir concert--ever.