Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Christmas Part 1

So I got the whole week of Christmas off! It was amazing :) We went to St. George to be with Dahl's family. These next 2 posts are pretty much direct copies from what I wrote Nicole on her mission, so hopefully it's not too travel-loggish. I started with the day she left. We dropped her off on a Wednesday, and I went straight to work right afterwards, so we start there: 

Wednesday 12/18:
We had a bridal shower for Alyssa at work. I got free Zupas! That night, Dahl and I took Julie to dinner and we watched a new movie, "The Way, Way Back". We really liked it! She spent the night at our house.

Thursday 12/19:
Julie hung out with Dahl while I worked. He took her to the mall while he ran errands. They went to the library as well. Dahl, Julie, and I went over to Amy's house to make gingerbread houses. They turned out better than ever! Amy's fiance (Brooks) was super nice, and some of his friends came over too. It was a lovely evening. 

Friday 12/20:
We got down to 0 calls in the phone queue at work! I was so happy I almost cried. Seriously. The guys at work got a little worried. Then, we played on the X-Box. I actually won a game called Takedown! It's a driving game where the only goal is to take out as many other cars as possible. The first person to reach 10 wins! I got 10 and Kyle only had 8, so I won!! I lost everything else, but I was ecstatic to win something! Chris and Lance were very entertained by my reaction.
I also showed the guys some Star Wars snowflakes I made (Yoda and Darth Vader). They were pretty impressed! Travis even had me forward him the templates so he could make some. 

Lance (my manager) gave us some hot chocolate for Christmas. He let me pick first because I'm the favorite (his words :) ). I picked marshmallow. Being the only girl comes with its perks! After work, Julie and I went to get some free pearl necklaces because I have 2 starving students cards and they each have one free one on it. We got her dinner again, and dropped her back off at Heather's apartment. That night, Dahl drove to St. George for Christmas. We chatted the whole way and had a really great time! When we arrived, we watched "National Treasure" with Dahl's parents.

Saturday 12/21:
We hung out with Eric and Brenley. We went to Coyote Charro, a Mexican restaurant. We got these amazing carne asada fries and a couple tacos. It was SO good! We looked at a house that Ivory homes is building. Brenley could give us a tour because she works for Ivory Homes. It is VERY unfinished- lots of dirt still and none of the appliances were in. It will be a home in the Parade of Homes, so we are excited to come back and look at the transformation. We did some shopping and started watching "The Hobbit". Brenley and Eric have never seen it, and they needed to watch it before we went to see the second one later this week.

Sunday 12/22:
We went to church. The choir in this ward is HILARIOUS! Dahl and I always forget about it until we go. It is so awesomely horrible. Gets us every time! We can't help but giggle while they sing all sorts of off notes. That was more often than usual this time because it was the Christmas program, and there were lots of special musical numbers. They didn't sing even one traditional song, it was all weird arrangements. It would probably be okay if they sang normal songs and kicked a few people out, but we are hoping that never happens because it is so entertaining as it is! 




We went on a nice walk on a trail near their house and chatted. We finished "The Hobbit", and Jacob and Tori arrived. We went to a Missionary Christmas Concert at the Tabernacle! It was very nice. They had much better singing voices. We also watched "Home Alone". It was Tori's first time!

Monday 12/23: 
We started out the day by going on another walk, this time around Eric and Brenley's neighborhood. We then did some more shopping and wrapping. We went to lunch at Irmita's. It was amazing, as usual. 

Savana arrived! We went to Tuacahn to see the Live Nativity. It was really cool. They read the Christmas story in Luke 2 and acted it out with music. They had live camels, a live donkey, and live goats.





I made sweet and sour chicken for dinner. It was pretty good if I do saw so myself! 

Tuesday: 12/24:
We went to Orange Peel for breakfast. Their Citraberry smoothie is the best thing ever!! I got a pedicure with Brenley and Tori while Savana got a manicure. 

That night, we did a Christmas program where we sang songs, read the Christmas story, shared memories, and read "That Thine Alms May be in Secret" and "A Christmas Dress for Ellen". We ate some yummy food and watched "It's a Wonderful Life". 

We lit "Tangled" lanterns that Jacob and Tori brought, and it was really cool!



And that's just the beginning! It gets even more exciting after Christmas, so I'll talk about that in my next post!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Goodbye Sister Connor!


My sister Nicole (3rd in our family) just left on her mission to Everett Washington! She flew out to Utah from Maryland Monday, December 16. Dahl and I drove up that night to Salt Lake to meet her, my sister Heather and her husband Stephen, my sister Julie, my friend Amy, and her fiance Brooks for the Christmas Sing Along at Energy Solutions Arena. I am certifiably obsessed with this event. I love love love Christmas songs, and when you put a bunch of people (including Santa and live performers) in an auditorium to sing them with me, I am a very happy camper. Throw in the fact that it is free and that you get free doughnuts and tickets to future events, and I am pretty much in heaven at this thing. I drag Dahl to it every year (he likes it, just not quite as much as I do- but then again, I don't know if anyone does). We were all terribly late, but it was still fun. Afterwards, there was a mis-communication, so Heather, Stephen, Nicole and Julie went to Temple Square and took some pictures, while Dahl dropped me off at Costa Vida with Amy and Brooks (he had to go home and study- finals week!).


Pretty sisters :)


The next day, Heather took Nicole and Julie to school with her to help teach her class. That night, we went out to Awful Waffle.



You can write on the tables with chalk, so Nicole wrote this!

We went back to my house and made some treats. I recorded Nicole making a Christmas message for the rest of the family. It was quite the experience... Nicole is so hilarious and silly!
We also made this gem of a movie. I want to say I was not going to post this, because it is possibly the most embarrassing thing that I have ever done, BUT Heather and Julie both said that I freaking absolutely must post it, so here it is. Try not to judge us... we're total dorks. The story behind this video is this. Nicole loves Despicable Me, most especially the minions. This video shows what we are re-enacting here. Nicole insisted we do this while we were all together. So we did.
This first video is the aftermath of Heather trying to show Nicole how to fake hit her with a hardback book. Except Heather actually did hit her... very hard... in the face (accidentally). And Nicole started bawling. And the rest of us started laughing so hard we were crying. If you were there, you would know how absolutely hilarious it was. My tummy hurt from laughing so hard! If you can't understand anything being said in this video, you are not alone. We sound like complete idiots. 

video

And here is the best version we got. I think this was our 3rd try. Dahl was super nice and patient with our crazy selves :)

video

.... Yeah. Again, try not to judge us too much. This is the first time we had all been together since Christmas 2012 and sisters can get pretty goofy :)

Then, it was finally time to drop Nicole off! Sister Gordon drove us to the MTC (thanks!). She stopped by the Provo Temple so we could take a couple more photos: 



And then we were suddenly there at the MTC! A sister missionary greeted us, helped get some things for Nicole, and said she could take pictures and give us a couple minutes. After lots of hugs (and some kisses too), she was finally on her way!


Goodbye Sister Connor! Learn lots on your fun adventure! We love you!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Trip to Moab/ The Arches



This summer, my cute husband and I have not had any "just us" getaways, sadly. We went to Canada with his parents, which was very fun, but certainly did not include any more than about 2 seconds of alone time. This is especially true considering we ended up in the kids bedroom for 2 nights of it, which, although hilarious, was not exactly romantic. We also went to Maryland for my sister Heather's wedding, which was wonderful as well, but that was still more family time than alone time. So, we decided to take advantage of the long Labor Day (sorry this is a late post) weekend to take a quick trip together. My parents were in town for Heather's Utah reception, so we hosted them from Thursday night through Sunday afternoon, and left right after they left.
We went to a local place for some dinner, went to the hot tub, watched some Walking Dead awesomeness, and tried to go to bed early so we could wake up early and get started on some awesome hikes. This was slightly inhibited by the worst heartburn/ acid reflux I have ever had (mostly because I pretty much never get it), but then Dahl got me some medicine and ice cream and it made it all better :) (TMI? Sorry!)
The next morning we got up early, ate the free breakfast, and drove to Arches National Park. We started out with the hike to Delicate Arch. It is ranked as one of the hardest hikes, but it wasn't too bad. That said, it was very hot, there was no shade, it was a lot of uphill, and we were very grateful for our Camelbaks. I was also very grateful for my $1 hat I grabbed at Walmart. Dahl didn't get one, but I highly recommend it.

It was beautiful!

So handsome :) 

If you look closely, you can see the person right next to it. It is HUGE!!


The chipmunks there were so tame! We fed this little guy a peanut from our trail mix!

He is SO cute, I was pretty obsessed.

This is him climbing on Dahl's shoe! He climbed on mine too. They must be very used to tourists!

We took a small detour on the way back to look at some Petroglyphs from hundreds of years ago!

Once we got back, we drove to the next hike we wanted to do. This one is to the biggest arch in the park (and I think the world). You could do a really long 7 mile hike or  just a 2-ish mile hike. Since we had already done the 3- mile uphill hike, we opted for the easier one this time. We definitely want to go back and do the whole thing one day! Even on the shorter hike, there were some fun detours on the way.

This was a fun little area I climbed up!

This is Pinetree Arch, it was pretty cool!!

This is landscape arch- the longest one! It is as long as a football field!

Another little critter we saw
We also saw the Balanced Rock. There's a better view in the next picture, but I thought this picture was funny because it was SO BRIGHT, so I was closing my eyes in this picture.

It is on the left of this picture behind us. 

After we finished those 2 hikes, we grabbed some food and ice cream to cool off and headed back home. It was a quick getaway- about 24 hours total- but we had a great time just being together and enjoying each others' company!

Monday, October 7, 2013

PDA


I've been thinking about PDA lately. And how much is too much. And how much is not enough. And how much is just right. So the following is a post with my opinions on the matter. I am sure everyone has a different opinion on it, and I want to be respectful of that, so hopefully this is not too harsh. These are my opinions, and if you have a different opinion, I would be happy to hear about it in the comments. I will address 2 kinds of PDA here:


Physical PDA

This is the most obvious kind. I think showing affection in public is nice, when handled appropriately. But I think it can definitely go too far. For example, I kid you not, one time I was with some friends who I didn't know very well but we were with his parents, and he was massaging his girlfriends butt and kissing her neck CONSTANTLY in front of all of us. Now, this made me very uncomfortable, but I cannot imagine how it made the parents feel. Frankly, I was completely appalled, but maybe I'm just old-fashioned.  If I were his girlfriend I would have died. I would have made him stop immediately and followed it up with a private discussion when we were next alone about things to do in front of parents or anyone human.

I have heard the viewpoint, "We just don't care what people think! We're in love!!" and honestly I just think that is downright inconsiderate. Maybe you don't care about how people think, but what about how they feel? Do you care about that?? You should. If you don't care about their feelings, why are you hanging out with them? They are probably asking themselves the same question. Don't be surprised if they start ignoring you or avoiding hanging out with you if you exhibit this kind of behavior on the regular. It probably makes them feel awkward and like they are in the way. As a reminder, there are other people with you, and you chose to hang out with not only your significant other, but them too. Just because you would like to start your family right now does not mean it is acceptable to conceive a child in front of them. If you can't keep it in your pants, go find a place where you can be alone, so they don't have to witness the blessed event.

Doesn't your heart just go out to this kid??

I want to add that I really don't mind people showing affection to their significant other in front of me. I actually think in general, it is really nice. I was lucky enough to grow up in a home where my dad was absolutely adorable about my mom. He made up silly love songs about her, danced with her in the kitchen, and gave her hugs and kisses all the time. And I think that is such a great thing. I would even go so far as to say it is a beautiful thing. Even when we told teased them about it as kids and told them they were gross, we were still glad they were in love.

Wow sorry the past 3 pictures have been of people making out... don't worry they get more entertaining :)


I love when Dahl (my husband) shows me affection. He has taken after my dad and makes up multiple songs about me a day which I absolutely love! He is the cuddliest man alive, and I love that too. I am perfectly happy to cuddle with him for a movie, no matter who we are with. I love to hold his hand, give him quick kisses (emphasis on the quick- no make out sessions in front of others!), compliment him, smile at him, flirt in a silly way with him, give him hugs, or have his arm around me, but I just think going much beyond that is ridiculous when there are others present.

I definitely want my children and anyone we know to know that my husband and I are in love with each other, and for it to be obvious through words and action; I just think what happens in the bedroom should stay there, and should stay between two people. There are lines that should not be crossed in front of anyone. So consider that, and stop crossing them!! No one else wants to see your tickle fight or make out session. Trust me. Just get a room!



Social Media/ Facebook PDA
The top definition for Facebook PDA on urban dictionary is: Public Display of Affection on Facebook, usually when a couple publicly swoons over each other, when they should just text each other, pick up the phone, or heaven forbid just talk to each other to save the rest of us from the cheesy and showy interaction.

Yeah. I think that about sums it up.


And this sums up what I am about to say!


I found this article very funny on this topic, and I enjoyed this one (the first question is the only one related to this topic) and this one as well so feel free to check those out, too!

This is an interesting one. Everyone seems to have a different opinion about how much of their relationship should be public for not only friends and family, but also their entire friend list (which, let's be honest, you talk to maybe 20% of your current group of "friends" with any level or consistency whatsoever in any forum other than social media, and usually not even  there), and what the heck? Let's open the whole thing up to friends of friends!!!

Personally, I find it appropriate to post sweet things on our anniversary, birthdays, and every once in awhile when the urge strikes me. But that is not that often, because, miracle of miracles, we have developed cell phones with texting! So I can text him love notes all day long if I want to, without involving everyone with internet access. I can also use Facebook messaging to let him know how much I care about him on a much more personal level than I could through something that everyone and their dog can see. And even on the occasions when I find it appropriate to post about my love online, it's not a novel; it's short and sweet. I truly think it is cute when couples post little things about each other in moderation, but when you can't shut up about it, it gets downright obnoxious.


See all those likes? That is because this is how people really feel!

It is just awkward and annoying to tell every detail of your love story just-in-case-anyone-was-wondering in a status. Sometimes when I read these statuses, I literally feel like some prankster found your diary and thought it would be funny to post it online, and now I am completely invading on your personal space by reading it. I am genuinely embarrassed for the people who post these things. It is seriously awkward! 

If you feel the urge to tell how you met or how you proposed or how your first date went every other week, maybe you should start a blog and post it all there. That would be a more appropriate use of social media, so people can get some warning before diving deep into your personal life. Statuses are supposed to be short! 

You can even post a link to your blog as your Facebook status. You can label it something like: "Blog post with mushy gushy details about our love life! You have been warned! Read on... if you dare!!" "Blog post about our first date! Filled with never-before disclosed details!" That could be a fun way to see who is really interested- and some people probably are! Honestly, I would probably read your blog post! I know that may seem weird judging from what I have been saying this whole time, but it's not that I don't care about your life or your relationship with your significant other; it's just that I don't want it to be thrown at me whenever I want to get on Facebook. 

I don't know about you guys, but sometimes I am sorely tempted to say something like this. But I don't. I just blog about it.

Blogs are great for adding in all the juicy details about how things are going in your life without making people feel assaulted by love spam every time they log in to their Facebook news feed. And that is the definition of spam, by the way: irrelevant or inappropriate messages sent on the Internet to a large number of recipients. That's what you're doing! Spamming people!! Everyone hates spammers, so don't be one of them!

It's all about choosing the right forum to bear your soul about the awesome-ness of your soul-mate. Then people can choose if they want to follow that link and read up on your love life.That is what we call a win-win. This way, you avoid annoying people, and you get to really tell some great details and even add some pictures all on a page that is your own, that people can choose to go to if they want to.


Think of it this way: Many people enjoy going to the pool (or hearing about the details of your love life). In general, most people like to get wet if the circumstances are right. But they do not always want to get wet, and if you shove them in the pool, they will be annoyed at you. The same thing applies in this situation. It is like you own a pool (your awesome love relationship with your significant other), and you can invite your friends to come over and swim in it (again, hear about the details of your love life). They may decline, and that is okay. But no matter what, it is not okay to shove them in your pool of love (Facebook love spam). Just invite (post a status with a link to your blog about your love life).

I wonder the same thing... why?! (Look next to the "likes".) I have come to the conclusion that people feel it is too awkward to just leave it un-liked, so they go ahead and guilt- like it to try and ease the weird sexual tension that is all over their Facebook wall. For the record, I don't completely hate this status, but it is a little weird that the way she lets him know that she loves and appreciates him is through Facebook... trust me girl, there are better ways! Also, it is pretty ridiculously  mushy (for lack of a better word)... "I never knew what it was like to look at someone and smile for no reason?" Really?? I mean how much of that is really for him and how much if it is to get people to think she's the cutest, sweetest girlfriend/ wife ever? I guess to me, it is so over the top it seems almost fake. I'm sure she loves him, but this post seems more for Facebook and less for him. I could be wrong, and I don't know her, but it comes across that way to me.

Another unnecessary thing is to declare the truthfulness of how your significant other is the one every time the alarm you have set in your phone to remind you to do so goes off. (Seriously, it seems like some people have those- and they go off about 5 times a day). I don't mind if it's occasional, I really don't. But sometimes, it gets out of hand. Find another way to express yourselves to each other for the sake of everyone on your friends list!

Exactly.

And we haven't even begun to talk about pictures. Usually, I honestly think people do a fine job with this. However, if every other picture is of you two kissing, maybe you should think about diversifying your poses. And suggestive poses are just weird. If you must take them, try to keep them under wraps (I know it's hard with the paparazzi following you and constantly trying to expose you, but tryyyy!)

You do want people to be rooting for you right?

I realize that these people who do these things are not intending to be offensive. They are just happy, and want others to see it, and that is great! That is so much better than the alternative, and I am glad they are so pleased with their decisions and the partner they are with. Love is a great blessing and a wonderful thing. It just might be time to take it down a notch. Calm down. Check your hormone levels. There are lots of other great and interesting things you can post about! And honestly, sometimes the extreme-ness of your posts come off as almost insecure. Why do you need to reassure all of us that your love is so true on such a constant basis? Are you worried they aren't as into you as you are into them? Are you trying to claim your territory so everyone else keeps off? All I'm saying is sometimes, you may actually be doing the opposite of what you want to be doing- just something to keep in mind.


I think there are a lot of things that you can post that are appropriate on Facebook. Like I said, birthdays and anniversaries (we're talking yearly, not weekly anniversaries, to make it clear) are always great and acceptable. Actually, I would say they are pretty much mandatory, unless you do not use social media. Taking a reasonable amount of pictures and posting them is nice, as long as they are in good taste. Tagging your significant other at the same place you are and saying what you are doing is entirely reasonable. Posting nice things every once in awhile is great. I know I enjoy when people, especially my husband, post nice things about me. Just try not to blast your entire love life to the internet world. If you're feeling so amorous, what are you doing on the computer when you should be with the person you are so in love with?

Conclusion:
Sooo there you have it! That is my opinion about PDA. I realize that this can be a sensitive subject so if you found the post offensive, please know that it was not directed at anyone in particular and it was not my intention to offend. Soo maybe you can find some constructive criticism or something!! If you have an opinion you'd like to share, feel free to comment :)


Monday, September 23, 2013

Heather's Wedding and Our Trip Home (also including our St. George trip)!

Our trip home to Maryland this year was combined with Heather's beautiful wedding. It was on Friday, so we flew out Thursday. Our flight was very delayed, so we ended up getting in around 11 instead of 4 or so, so we had very little sleep to support us in the next days festivities.
Getting ready


We were so happy to see Heather marry such a great guy, Stephen, and it was a wonderful occasion. Our family has been very blessed. She blogged about it here, so I will let you go there to read about it.
The happy couple!


It was about the hottest day EVER, but we didn't melt, so I guess it was alright :) One thing I know she will not blog about is the clean up for her wedding. The older boys were so fun with the younger kids and put them on their shoulders. They had so much fun running around, chicken fighting (very tamely) and just being fun and adorable.
From top- bottom, left- right: Shimp boys, Sarah, Ty and Kenzie Walburger
Jacob, Joseph, Sam Nuss, Timothy Johnson, Evan Nuss


On Saturday night, we went to a Nationals game on a double date with my parents. It was a BLAST! It was really an awesome game.


I know baseball is often not that exciting, but trust me, this game was, and we ended up winning after coming back from being 4 behind.


Sunday we went to church, had the sister missionaries over, and went to a farewell for a family friend. It was a lot of fun to see so many great people we haven't seen in a long time.
Monday we (Mom, Dahl, me, Julie, Jacob, and Sarah) went to Philadelphia!


We went to Independence Hall and took a tour there!

We got Philly Cheesesteaks at Campos!

They were super good, but honestly, we still think the Italian Place in Provo is better. I'm sure I will get crap for saying that, but we still think it's the yummiest :)

We went to the church that George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Betsy Ross, John Adams, and many others worshiped in. We are in George Washington's row here. 

I think this is Betsy Ross' row?


It was a gorgeous church!


We saw the Liberty Bell!


We also walked down Elfreth's Alley, one of the oldest neighborhoods in America.

And of course, we ran up the Rocky steps!




Tuesday, we saw my dad's work. It was really cool! He is doing some awesome stuff with airplanes, I wish we took a picture!

We also took the kids to Pepperjacks, a great sandwich place.


Wednesday, we went to the zoo (me, Dahl, Nicole, Sarah, and the cute Ferguson girls, Michelle and Amy).

We took the Metro up!


The lions were Dahl's favorite, as usual :)

Me and Sarah Sue!

We flew home on Thursday, just in time for me to go back for one day of work on Friday! Then, we rushed down to St. George with our friends Tanner and Danielle to see Mary Poppins at Tuacahn!

It was a great performance, as usual!


Always have to take a picture in the face holes!

We had a fun- filled weekend with them! We went to the pool, grabbed lunch at Irmita's, went to a movie, and had dinner at Chili's. We also grabbed some custard at Nelson's. We watched a movie at home with Dahl's sweet parents, who were so nice to host us while we were there, and we drove home on Sunday. We sure did pack a lot of fun into 1 1/2 weeks I'd say! It was awesome to see my family and hang out with them especially, because we don't get to see them too often! Thanks to both of our families for being such great hosts to us!