Temple Square

This year my mothers family decided to take a Christmas trip together. "The parents" decided on visiting Temple Square in SLC. The trip started off great, Heather and I were able to stop on the way up to SLC and see a couple of old friends, Emily and Natalie. It was so great to catch up with them for a little while and see Natalie's ADORABLE 2 month old baby Walker. (My baby hunger was at it's peak, let me tell you.)

That night "the parents" dragged us all to a Michael McClain concert, The Forgotten Carols. I like musicals, I like the theater, but this just was not my thing. I was totally jealous of my hubby and Lora's fiance Mat for going to the Utah Jazz game. MUCH rather have been there!

The next day ended up turning around again though. As we were inevitably waiting on the rest of the family to get where they said they would be an hour ago, Jeff and I got to explore Thanksgiving Point (I didn't mind getting to hang out with just the two of us). They had these reindeer on display for the kiddos and I think that they were a little stressed out.

This picture just needs a caption under it saying something like "You want me to pull this slay with the jolly ol' 200 lb elf in the back?"

We walked the grounds and saw how pretty it can be when you don't live in Vegas. I actually was considering moving to Utah!

An hour later the rest of my family finally met up with us at Thanksgiving Point and we toured the Dinosaur museum they have there. I love that going to a dinosaur museum is what my family does on vacation. We are all such dorks.

That night we went and toured the grounds at Temple Square. This was by far my highlight of the weekend. Since a BYU game just got out at the Energy Solutions Center (Jeff ditched us all again and went the game), the grounds were super crowded and everyone was so joyful. It was wonderful to be around so many Saints. Not to mention, the Temple Grounds were gorgeous!

Such a cute newly engage couple!

The whole gang

Jeffs new best friend this trip, our little cousin.

The next morning we went and saw a taping of The Spoken Word. That was just the cherry on top to the end of our little vacation. The Tabernacle Choir was amazing live. I couldn't believe that I had been in the SLC area on so many Sunday's before and not taken advantage of this. I will definitely be doing this again next time I'm in town.

Since the Spoken word is a live taping, they asked everyone before to be as quiet as possible to get a good recording. I have never before heard that many Mormon families with a bunch of little kids be so silent. If only we could all do that in Sacrament I'm sure we would get more out of the talks.

All and all it was a pretty fun, quick, and painless weekend. I'm not sure if I would want to do it again with that many people, but I could see Jeff and I taking the kids up one year (once again I am making plans for our imaginary children). Definitely a good way to enjoy in the all the Christmas cheer!



Last year I was a total Grinch. I did not want to participate in any reindeer games! This year, I cannot get enough CHRISTMAS CHEER! Why am I loving Christmas so much this year? Maybe it is because we are so blessed. Maybe it's because my Christmas shopping in 95% done and I will be spending less than a few hundred buckaroos on all our gifts this year. Maybe I am just making up for last year, but I am totally lovin' this Christmas season.

Every year I help my youngest sister make her own gifts for everyone. This year one of our gifts was an advent calender for our parents. We took a plastic bead holder, Christmas scrapbook paper, and markers and turned it into a DIY advent calender.

Jade did every last thing herself. All I had to do was show her how it would work and she took care of the rest. She even thought of all the different activities to put into each jar with a little treat.

She did such a good job that a couple days later I made one for myself. I wanted something a little more simple. I loved the advent calenders I saw on Ohdeedoh, especially the coin envelop Christmas tree one. But, I refused to pay $17 for a box of coin envelops that I would never use again. It ended up coming together when I scored these white paper gift bags from Michael's for $2. They even came in a pack of 25, how much more perfect can you get?

All I used was the little gift bags, leftover scrapbook paper, ribbon, string, stamps, clips (from Jeff's birthday) and a little glitter (for #25). After an hour or so I had my very own, first ever, advent calender.

I even went out and bought my first ever wreath on Black Friday. Usually I don't go for this kind of stuff, you know. It's only used once a year, it is usually too expensive, cheaply made, and just a bunch of clutter "stuff" I don't need in my garage, but this year I didn't care. I want to decorate for Christmas and I don't care who knows it!

I am even trying to talk Jeff into going shopping with me the Monday after Christmas to get more decorations on sale. I am thinking that a full sized Christmas tree, lights, ornaments, and all the trimmings are in order (we still use my small tree from college). I don't think he is buying into my senseless, consumerism love of Christmas this year, but maybe he will come around. Hopefully next year I will still have enough Christmas spirit to actually put up all the new decorations :) Can't wait!