It's Flag Day, Flag Day...

Gotta get down on Flag Day...

And now I've made a Rebecca Black joke. I'm becoming a real blogger, here.

But seriously...


Don't ask me why I love Flag Day. I really couldn't tell you. I kind of just decided to like it one day. So let it be written. So let it be done.

You could probably guess what Flag Day is about, but in case you don't feel like guessing, it commemorates the adoption of the U.S. Flag, which happened on June 14, 1777.

Since Tuesday nights are not very conducive to celebrating (even on Flag Day), we had a little Flag Day shindig at our house this past weekend.

Since I decided that this was going to be "the" party that I was going to throw to cross #21 off of my "Things to do" list for the year, I wanted to go all out. As it turns out, "all out" included:

-nifty invitations that I do not currently have a picture of...

-festive banners


-quite the yummy food spread


-cheap (yet spectacular) favors for our guests to "spangle" themselves with




-general reveling in the Flag Day spirit

Good times, in my humble opinion. And yes, I feel as though enough effort went into this party to allow me to cross #21 off my list. Can I get an "Amen?!"

And so, until next year, Flag Day. Thanks for giving me a way to be unique.

Happy Not Good Friday

I don't have the day off because it's Good Friday. I have the day off because it's "Spring Holiday."

Either way, I have the day off from student teaching.

I know I've told you absolutely nothing about my student teaching experience, and for that, I apologize. Let's just say it's been a roller coaster. Some days I feel like I would love love love to have my own classroom and teach little kiddos all day. Some days I feel like I would rather...not.

But hey, I'm five weeks into it. Three more to go.

And I have the day off today.

And it's Earth Day. Fun fact.

Since we didn't have school today, I talked to the class about Earth Day yesterday. Here's how our discussion started:

Me: So who knows what we celebrate on Earth Day?

Little girl who is pretty much the cutest/sweetest child in the class, with a lovely little smile on her face: It's to celebrate when Jesus died on the cross for our sins!

Me: No. Anyone else?

HAHA. Ah, me. Looking back on it now I probably sounded a bit rude to her. I just tried to avoid her answer entirely. But I still have no idea how I should have handled that. I probably should have said something like, "Well, sweetie, I think you're thinking of Easter, which is also this weekend, but we can't talk about that in school because there might be one or two children in here whose parents would be extremely upset if we did. They're the same ones who insist that we call tomorrow "Spring Holiday" instead of "Good Friday" or "Easter Break." I like to call that 'insisting on political correctness to the point of stupidity,' and it's a problem that a lot of people have. But you are right that that is what we celebrate on Easter, which 75% of Americans celebrate, so good for you! Now, who knows about Earth Day?"

Hmm...not sure how that would have worked out either.

The point is, I don't have to go in today. Which means I can tackle my ever growing list of stuff that I have/want to do. Which is awesome.

Finally write a blog post after a three-week hiatus: check.

For the sake of putting up a new post...

Random thoughts:

1) Did you know that the lowest zip code in the United States is 01001, which is for Agawam, MA? BUT there are two exceptions: (a) 00501, which is in NY but is used only for the US Internal Revenue center there, and (b) 00601, which is in Puerto Rico. The highest zip code is 99950, and is for Ketchikan, AK, which is mighty fun to say.

2) Many Valentine's Day cards out there are waaaaay too wordy. Like, I was looking at the cards for husbands and couldn't really find a single one that didn't have a novella in it. What if I'd rather just have the card say something simple and sweet so I can write my own novella, if I so choose? The fact is, Hallmark doesn't want us to become novella-ists. They want to make us illiterate so we have to say everything we ever want to say with a Hallmark card.

And look at that, I'm a conspiracy theorist.

3) Dallin was gone for 4 days last week, in Mexico doing some awesome work/church stuff. I didn't tell you because ~hello~ this is the internet, and I didn't want the internet to know that I was home alone for 4 days. I missed him terribly.

4) 14 weeks pregnant. Dallin and I have kind of been thinking boy from the beginning, but in the past couple days I've been questioning that hunch. I guess we have a 50/50 shot, and we'll know March 7.

5) I have to be a reference for a guy I knew in high school that is applying to be a police officer. It's really hard to answer questions like "What is the applicant's temperament?" when you haven't spoken to said applicant in 4 years. I mean, I could tell you what he was like when he was you really want to know that? Humph. It's annoying. But necessary, I suppose. So, I plow on.

The end. Have a happy day!


We're in Seattle. Well, technically, Redmond. And there's snow.

We flew up on Christmas Day.

Yes, I survived a 3+ hour flight with a 13 month old. I would say "No applause, please," but I actually think applause is pretty appropriate.

So far, we've had a great time. Lots of relaxing, movies, playing with Maddy (entertainment in and of itself), and just spending time with our family who we don't get to see very often.

And then, last night, it snowed.

So far, we have yet to actually go outside into the snow. But we are going into downtown Seattle today so we'll have to brave it!

It looks so cold. I don't know how you snow people do it.

Hopefully I'll actually pull my camera out for the next few days while we are here so I can show you what we're up to. Don't stake all your happiness on it or anything...just...hopefully.

I hope you all are enjoying your Christmas/New Year's week!

Happy Thanksgriving

I haven't told you about our Thanksgiving. Silly me.

I loved Thanksgiving this year.

So much good food! So much good company!

We went to my grandma's house in Thatcher. We ate, had our traditional rocket launch, played games, took naps, etc. It was yummy, relaxing, and perfectly enjoyable. Everything Thanksgiving should be.

But I don't have any pictures, which...well, let's be honest, is typical.

And I SO wish I had a picture of what was easily one of my favorite parts of the day, but I don't. So I'll just tell you about it.

We drove up to my grandma's house, made our way to the back porch, and saw a nice little scarecrow adding a little fall flavor to the back porch. The scarecrow was holding a little sign to welcome us all there.

And what did it say?

"Happy Thanksgriving."

It made me laugh. Every time I saw it. And now, just thinking back on it, I still laugh.

My grandma is the best.

So there, a Thanksgiving post. Glad I got that off my chest.

Utah in Tens

Rather than give you a play-by-play breakdown of each and every minute of our past 10 days in Utah, I thought I'd condense things a little bit and just make a Top 10 list for each of us. You are so welcome.

Dallin's Top 10 of Utah 2010 (in no particular order)

1. Cherry Hill (emphasis on Cardiac Canyon)
2. Stadium of Fire (emphasis on F-16 flyover and massive Eagle Court of Honor)
3. Temple Square (emphasis on new Salt Lake Temple model)
4. Squaw Peak (ooh la la)
5. Having the chance to listen to podcasts about computer stuff
6. The talent show at the Harris family reunion
7. The traditional roman candle fight after the fireworks in Richfield
8. Visiting the Hill Air Force Base Aerospace Museum
9. Driving golf balls at the family reunion; scaring everyone by hitting them onto the pavillion (by accident. Twice.)
10. Shooting his uncle's 9mm. Also twice.

Katie's Top 10 of Utah 2010 (also in no particular order)
1. Stadium of Fire (emphasis on Carrie Underwood and fireworks)
2. Razzleberry pie with Farr's vanilla ice cream at Cherry Hill
3. The ride "Wicked" at Lagoon
4. Looking at the stars at the family reunion
5. Having no cell service at the family reunion (it was nice to truly be away!)
6. Having time to "candy read" (Uglies and Pretties by Scott Westerfield)
7. Fabulous Utah food, including J-Dawgs, Farr's, and Maddox Drive-In
8. Having lots of help with the baby
9. Cherry Hill (emphasis on Cardiac Canyon and mini golf)
10. Seeing our family

Madelyn's Top 10 of Utah 2010 (perhaps in particular order...I tried to ask her and didn't get much of a response.)

1. Getting to sleep in Mommy and Daddy's bed sometimes because I made a fuss about sleeping in my pack-n-play.
2. My 4th of July outfit(s)
3. Being held by lots of different people
4. Sleeping in the car
5. Waking up in a new place almost every day
6. The finale of the fireworks show in Richfield
7. Splashing around in kiddie pools at Cherry Hill and Lagoon-A-Beach
8. Tasting everyone's ice cream at Farr's
9. Really working on my first tooth
10. Being told how adorable I am over and over

As usual, I totally slacked on taking pictures. Half the time, the camera would get left in the car so if there was something I really wanted a picture of, I had to use my phone. The above pictures were taken with my phone, so I guess it isn't that bad. Of course, I find it hard to believe that any picture of this girl could be anything but freakin adorable.

So anyway, we had a spectacular vacation and 4th! It was nice to get away and spend lots of time with each other and with our family!

Why I Love Flag Day

When I was little, I remember making a conscious effort to use the green crayon fairly often.

Green was not my favorite color. Pink was my favorite color.

But I felt bad for liking pink and not green. I figured green crayons probably didn't get used very often, and that made me sad. I pitied the green crayon. So I tried to use it more than I was naturally inclined to.

To me, Flag Day is the green crayon of holidays. It kind of seems like it should be a big deal, since flags and grass are everywhere. But it sort of just gets forgotten amongst all the other "major" holidays that steal all the attention and leave us with pink trees.

You get what I'm saying? Me neither.

Anyway, sometime in my adolescence, I decided that I was going to love Flag Day.

So, come June 14, I celebrate the good old Stars and Stripes.

And so does my offspring. Observe:

She loves Flag Day too!

We didn't do anything super special to celebrate this super special day. Maybe because it was on a Monday. Maybe because it was on a particularly busy Monday. I don't know. But the lack of outward expression was made up for by the surplus of inward devotion and pride we felt for our grand old flag! I even sang some patriotic songs to Maddy in the car. You'd better believe it. (Fun fact: I love patriotic music.)

Did you celebrate Flag Day? I forgive you, if you didn't. Just don't forget next year! Maybe we'll have a Flag Day party next year. Now that sounds incredibly awesome.

p.s. Flag Day also marked Maddy's 7 month birthday. Whoa. She's getting more mobile everyday, and I'm just waiting for a tooth or two to break through. I'll be sure to keep you posted, since I know you care SO MUCH about my baby's teeth.

p.p.s. If you don't actually care SO MUCH about my baby's teeth, that's okay. Just don't forget about Flag Day next year, and we'll still be friends.

Did you feel that?

Did you feel the earthquake yesterday?

I didn't. But apparently, I could have.

I was upstairs at my parents' house with two of my sisters and my cousin Cathy. All of the sudden, Cathy says she feels like she's moving! Um...yeah, right, Cathy. Then my sister says she feels it too. Um...yeah, right, Sister.

But then, we look around the room. The open door is swaying on its hinges, some flowers are vibrating in a vase, and from my vantage point, I can see the dining room chandelier swinging!

What the...?

So Cathy Googles (yeah, it's a verb too) to see if there were any earthquakes close by. Sure enough, the big one that hit Baja California had happened just a few minutes before.

I still didn't believe that that was what had happened. I was totally in denial. I earthquake? In Arizona? Psh! I had no idea what I thought had happened to make everything in the house move like that...but I refused to believe it was an earthquake. Until, of course, it became pretty clear that many people had felt it, and that that earthquake was indeed strong enough to reach us a bit!

I think I denied it so much because any and all natural disasters SCARE ALL THAT IS HOLY OUT OF ME, so I didn't want to think I could be affected by such nonsense in Arizona. Obviously, the quake didn't do any damage to us or anything even near us...but it was still enough to freak me out.

I'm such a wimp.

And I'm never moving.

Also, I'm not pregnant. Seriously, people. The title of the post was April Fools! I thought I was being obvious. But um, I guess that makes it more fun. :)

Very also, we got some cute-errific pictures of Madelyn in a lovely Easter dress that I'll be sure to share with you once I finish several other important things, including homework, cleaning, shopping, and food storaging so my family will survive Arizona's next shakedown. So stay tuned! Hope you all had a splendid Easter!

For the love

Just thought I'd give you a quick lil summary of our Valentinesian weekend, since it was full of people I love, things I love, food I love, and just love in general.

Saturday, I woke up to balloons, chocolates, and ROSES. Mmm mmm that's a good start to a day. I have a picture of this, but my camera is...not within arm's reach. Just imagine it. It was as good looking as you can imagine (which is not an insult to your undoubtedly colorful imagination, but rather a compliment to the excellentness of this gift).

I got ready and then we went to breakfast at IHOP. Nothing like having a great breakfast you don't have to make!

And then Dallin, in all his hotness and sweetness, said we should go get me some clothes, which, let's face it, I've been in dire need of. I ended up with some new jeans (so badly needed) and a cute shirt. Lovely.

We browsed Barnes & Noble for a while (does anyone else LOVE doing this?) before dropping off Madelyn at my parents' house and going to dinner and a movie. We finally saw "Sherlock Holmes," which I thought was fairly to moderately spectacular, and then went to Olive Garden, which is basically my favorite food this side of the universe.

And, of course, the whole day was full of flirting, kissing, hand holding mushy-ness. Because we like each other almost as much as we love each other.

Sunday, I gave Dallin a heart attack. I used the time immediately following Maddy's early morning feeding to put little paper hearts on his mirror, around his desk, in his shoes, etc. Some of them were even couponified. I love giving coupons. We went to church, made delectable red velvet cupcakes in the afternoon, and then went to my parents' house for a steak dinner, various desserts, and Olympics watching.

So yes, it was a practically perfect weekend. I'm very lucky to have a guy that tries so hard to make me happy...especially because he usually succeeds.

Hope your weekend was full of love too!

How to Get Nothing Done

Step 1: Feed the baby

Step 2: Hold the baby until she falls asleep

Step 3: Set the baby down

Step 4: Spend the 5 minutes you have running around like crazy - rotate the laundry, clean at random, and if you're really

Step 5: Go pick up the fussing baby.

Step 6: Lather.

Step 7: Rinse.

Step 8: Ignore steps 6 & 7 since they actually have nothing to do with anything.

Step 9: Repeat.

My baby loves to be held.

She will smile and coo. She will just lay still and look at me. She will sleep for hours on end (like really). She will do all these long as I'm holding her.

If I'm not holding her, I usually have very few minutes to get x project/task done.

The exception is if she's swaddled and completely, totally, 100% asleep. I save this special combo for nighttime.

Moral of the story: If you want to get things done, don't have kids.

Um...ok, sadness. Scratch that.

New moral of the story since the last one sucked: Put off what you think you need to get done and hold your kids whenever they'll let you. Especially while they're little babies. And especially if you happen to have the cutest daughter in the world...which you don't, because I do.

Ok, so I'm probably exaggerating (not about the cutest daughter in the world thing...ha!). Madelyn doesn't need to be held 24/7. She'll chill on our bed while I get ready in the morning. She'll hang out on a blanket on the floor at Grandma's. She'll sit/sleep in her glider type thing so Daddy can watch her while he works. She'll stay nice and content in her car seat for long periods of time while we're out running errands.

So I guess maybe the point is that I freak out too much about getting laundry/cleaning/grocery shopping done. Psh, don't we all?

Also, on a narrative note, we had a fantastic holiday week, and hope you did too! We spent Christmas Eve at my parents' house; it consisted of Dallin doing the Christmas Can-Can and yours truly being Santa Claus in the annual Christmas play. We spent most of Christmas day there as well, opening presents (wait till I tell you what Dallin gave made me go "Aww" and possibly cry), eating a yummy breakfast, and relaxing, before going home to pack for our trip. We flew up to Seattle on Christmas night to spend a week with Dallin's family. New Year's Eve was spent mostly at their house...until 11:00 when I decided I didn't want to be old and boring yet and made Dallin take me somewhere. We ended up watching the Space Needle fireworks from a groovy spot across the Puget Sound. Smooching may have been involved.

And now, on with a new week, a new month, and a new year!

Here's something to get you through your Madelyn fix:

Her cheeks are totally chubifying. You can practically pinch them through your computer screen. But I wouldn't recommend trying. Unless you're totally alone. Double check, and then go ahead and try.

Halloween n Stuff

I think Dallin has a Halloween picture of both of us, together, on his phone.

Dallin is downstairs, working.

I am upstairs, blogging.

The distance is just too great.

So you get pictures of each of us, in turn.

Here is Dallin. He is a baker:

And here I am. I am also a baker. But I have an oven. And what is baking in my lovely oven?

A bun.

Ha ha! Get it?

We ooze of cleverness.

I know, these pictures suck. Maybe I'll put Dallin's pictures on here later. But if you know me, you're probably not betting on it.

So, Halloween.

A series of unfortunate e-mails that I received on Friday night led me to something of a nervous breakdown this weekend. I had a freak out party in my head about baby and money and who knows what else, but it seemed like the world was going to come crashing down.

It didn't. Don't worry.

However, ASU football suffered a(nother) devastating loss, this time against the Cal Golden Bears. We really should have won...we were very close to that was sad.

I am also fairly to moderately positive that I did not consume any food the entire day that had any sort of nutritional value to it. Yes, I think that's about accurate.

We did get to go to a fun party that night, at which we got to show off our costumes and play a few games, one of which was the donut-on-a-string eating contest (pictured above). Dallin and I did not compete against each other, but we did claim victory in our respective meets. Maybe we should have gone head-to-head...between you and me, I could have taken him.

We finished off the evening with a showing of Pirates of the Caribbean (the first one, duh), which led to a late bedtime.

And then there was (very) early church. We all know how I feel about that.

After (very) early church, I slept off my nervous breakdown a lil bit while Dallin proved that he IS in fact the most incredible person on the planet. He did this by basically cleaning the entire house, including doing some much needed organization in the baby's room.

I heart him.

Also, Happy November! It is very difficult for me to wrap my head around the fact that our baby will be here this month. My due date is in less than two weeks. Less than two weeks, people! Do you know how much time that is not? A lot.

I may or may not be incredibly, irrationally excited about this. I'll let you know which.

So how is everyone?

Reflections and Pre-flections

Sure "preflections" is a word. Don't trust the dictionary that says it "can't be found," or whatever. Everyone knows those dictionary people are out to get us. Trust me. I'm not out to get you. Just out to write a little blog post. Far more trustworthy than the dictionary people....

All right, I made it up, ok?! Lay off me.

Despite economic crises and Obama getting elected (who said that?) and such, I personally am in love with the year that was 2008. If you have to ask why, you haven't been reading my blog for very long.

May 10, 2008.

This one day made the year a success!

Other things helped, I guess. I've made new friends (hello, ward people!) been to Disneyland a time or two (or lots), read great books, seen great movies, travelled to the Bahamas, Mexico, Vegas, Utah, and Seattle, and welcomed a new cousin into the world. In short, 2008 was a year of love, family, friends, and memories.

So 2008 was great.

And 2009 is gonna be fine.

(You know- fine as in fiiiiiine. Not fine as in, "Yeah, I'm doing fine." Get the difference? I knew you would.)

A quick word about New Years' Resolutions: I'm so not about them. This is the first year I've actually admitted this, but really, I've always believed it.

Here is Katie's recipe for disaster when it comes to New Year's Resolutions:

1) Come up with several awesome resolutions

2) Keep the resolutions for a short while (varies)

3) Totally forget about the resolution (NOT don't do them on purpose, which I'm proud of. I seriously just forget that I had the resolution in the first place)

4) Get really discouraged that I forgot the resolution.

5) Ditch the resolution.

It's a pretty foolproof way to end up hating New Year's Resolutions.

Now, this isn't to say that I hate goals in general. That would be silly. Goals help me better myself and my life, and are important to my (and anyone's) progression. Just saying "I'm going to do this ALL YEAR!" makes me feel a little overwhelmed. Perhaps that is a personal problem. Whatever the explanation, there are better ways for me, personally, to set goals. I'm kind of a month-to-month kind of person (something that Dallin has really helped me with). And if there was something that took more than one month to accomplish, I'd reset the goal the next month. It might just be an issue of semantics, but it has been more effective and more satisfying for me.

I hope you enjoyed my rationalizing of my laziness/procrastinating-ness. Welcome to the inner most thoughts of my mind.

There are things I want to do with this year. I've got big decisions to make, new things to try, maybe new places to go, etc. And I'll embrace all those things, and whatever challenges crop up along the way, with open arms. (Thankfully, it's been pretty warm lately, so my arms can literally be open instead of wrapped around me trying to keep me warm. Love Arizona).

Anyway, I'm ready. Bring it ON, 2009!

Ringing in 2009 - Seattle style

And so continues my quest to catch up on my blog.

Dallin and I got the chance to make our way up to (snowy!) Seattle to spend New Year's with his family. For any detail/specifics oriented people out there, they actually live in Redmond, just outside of Seattle, and they got pummeled with snow the week before Christmas! We went up on the 27th, but that was still enough time for a little rain to sneak in and melt a good deal of the snow. Which is hard to believe, really, because in my eyes, there was still quite a bit of snow. I grew up in Phoenix, people! Any and all snow is NEWS.

So anyway, we got in late on the 27th. Dallin slept on the plane, but I find plane-sleep impossible, so I was pretty tired by the time we got to his parents' house. The next day was Sunday, and they have late church, so we got to sleep in before heading out. It was almost dark by the time chruch was over - only like 4:00! I thought that was crazy. That night, we opened presents. This proved to be highly entertaining, as the first present each of us opened was a screaming stuffed monkey (or, in Dallin's case, TWO screaming stuffed monkeys) from Dallin's mom.

These babies stretch and shoot (like...a rubberband? best simile I could think of to describe this to you), fly, and scream...unless of course you shoot them too hard into the ceiling, in which case the screamer breaks, or stretch them too far, in which case their arms and legs fall off. Not that we encountered these problems... we know...heard.

So the night was filled with the sounds of screaming monkeys, and of our laughter at the screaming monkeys. Ah, good times.

We got other presents too, of course. I got a cute Mickey Mouse t-shirt and an a-maz-ing Disney piano songbook. Man, I've wanted one of those for FOREVER. Dallin got a game and iTunes gift card, and some edited movies- "Braveheart" and "Saving Private Ryan." I got one of those too- "Four Weddings and a Funeral," which we watched after the present opening. I didn't make it all the way through. Dallin's parents also handed down their video camera to us, which is very exciting. We haven't used it yet, but when we do, I'm sure you'll know.

The next day, Dallin and his bro Dayton went snowboarding, which I wasn't really interested in, so I went with the rest of the family to see "The Tales of Despereaux" and go out to lunch. After that, my sisses-in-law and I played some Rummikub before Danielle (one sis-in-law) left to pick up her beau from the airport. D'Nae (other sis-in-law, there will be a quiz later) and I watched CSI, and when everyone got home from all their various places we had dinner and then went bowling!

Danielle and Mike. Cute picture, no?

Dallin's dad dominated at bowling. He bowled a 171! Crazy! I was proud of my 149...

The next day Dallin's cousin Janeece and her son Linus came to play with us. We had fun playing various games and laughing at Linus' antics, particularly relating to High School Musical, which he loves.

The next day was New Year's Eve, and we headed into downtown Seattle to check out the science center there.

Dallin tried to make it look like the dino was kissing me. Did this work? I think not.

Inside the butterfly room, which is awesome not only because you are in a room full of butterflies, but also because they keep it at a nice, warm temperature! I think it was the first time I took my coat off the whole trip!

A demonstration of Dallin's mad rock climbing skills.

That night, we went to a place to race go-karts. The only picture I have of this place is this one:

which is not very indicative of the whole go-kart experience.

The race was fun, even though my car broke down about a lap into it and so I had to get out and get a new car, and even though the computers were broken which meant we didn't get times or results. But you know, other than that, it was fun.

The new year was rung in at home, watching the countdown and fireworks at the Space Needle on TV, with glasses of Martinelli's to toast. Honestly, there is nowhere else I would have rather been. I had family around me, bubbly to drink, and my husband to kiss- who could ask for more?

Dallin and I spent the night (and much of the morning) playing a computer game with Dayton, which I will not tell you the name of in order to avoid further embarrassment. We were up until 5:30. That's all I'm gonna say.

New Year's Day was spent pretty lazily until we had to leave for the airport late in the afternoon. It was sad to see the end of such a great, relaxing vacation...especially knowing that I'd have to go to work the next day. I love our Harris family and am so grateful for the time we get to spend with them!

Anyway, this post has been long enough, I think...stay tuned for thoughts about 2008 and 2009, as well as a post about our trip to the bed and breakfast!

Holly Jolly Christmas

Yes, it is January.

Yes, I am finally writing about our Christmas.

You've heard the phrase "Better late than never?" This phrase and I go way back. We're tight. I am going to embroider it on a pillow someday.

If I ever learn to embroider. Better late than never.

So - Christmas! Our first Christmas together was indeed very special.

Christmas Eve found Katie working at American Eagle and Dallin doing a little work from home. I didn't get home until about 4:45 or so, and we finished some present wrapping and egg nog drinking before heading over to my parents' house for the traditional Christmas Eve bash.

Said bash consists of eating, (dr. pepper) drinking, mingling...all fairly typical bash-ing.

Our typical bash-ing.

And then it's showtime. A fantastic talent show is followed by (trumpets!) the Christmas Eve play.

The Christmas Eve play was started by my mother (gosh! my mom and her traditions!) many moons ago. It originally involved her and her four brothers (one of which was always assigned any extra female roles) and usually tells a story involving Santa Claus and some kind of catastrophe that is threatening to ruin Christmas. Over the years, several evolutions have taken place:

1) The play now stars the next generation of Allen kids
2) While the "Christmas is in danger" idea is still the main idea, the plot revolves around some kind of event that took place that year (we've done the Olympics, ASU football (the 96-97 season-yeah baby), and Harry Potter, just to name a few)
3) I play Santa Claus

This last one might shock you. I mean, I hope it shocks you.



Not exactly twinners, you know?

Anyway, don't ask me how it happened. But I'm Santa Claus. I have been for the past 5 or 6 years now. It's an odd job, but somebody's gotta do it.

This year, the play focused on the bad economy. Basically, the bank was going to foreclose on Santa's house and workshop, making it impossible for him to get out and deliver his toys on Christmas Eve. Riot ensues. But with a little Christmas magic, hearts are changed and all is well again!

The cast

Let me just say that the stuffing of Santa didn't go as well this year as in previous years. Santa had quite a few questionable lumps in odd places...not to mention his pants simply did not want to stay on.

But they did. I made sure of it.

After the play, we all get to open our present from Grandma and Papa. It's always pajamas. Call me clingy, but I clung to my childhood and requested that Dallin and I also get pjs. So we did. And I'm glad because we slept in style!

I got to open one more present that night, right before bed. Dallin gave me a card informing me that we would be going to stay the night at a bed and breakfast in Pinetop in a few weeks! (of course, that "few weeks" passed and our trip was this past weekend. Don't hate! I'll get there!) It was a very thoughtful present and I slept on Christmas Eve with visions of cozy cabins dancing in my head.

Christmas morning, we took a traditional "waiting to see the presents picture"

before being let loose on the presents. Dallin and I got some great stuff, including a remote control airplane (his) and a fabulous spice rack (mine). We also got some new games, clothes, and movies, which are, of course, always welcome. Dallin got me some perfume and an AE gift card, along with B&B trip, and I got him a tent and camping stove, and a new dress shirt.

I abhor this picture. But it was the best I could do to show you our excellent Christmas load.

After the present opening came breakfast (breakfast flopovers (quesadillas) and crepes) and, of course, an afternoon nap!

We went to see "Bedtime Stories" that afternoon, which was actually pretty darn good, and then headed over to my grandparents' house for food, games, and more family time.

Bragging moment: my family loves this game called Tripole, and we play it all the time. I never win. But I WON this time. In fact, dominated might be a more appropriate term. Check it:

For all you non chip-game players out there, a lot of chips is a good thing. Oh, I was am so proud.

So, we stayed late and partied the night away! I won't ruin the good feeling I'm sure you have inside now by telling you about the terrible day I had at work the next day. Blech.

Oh, I love Christmas!

Can't wait till next year!

Happy Thanksgiving Back.

Who got the "You've Got Mail" reference? Who got it? Love you.

Yay for turkey day!

Mostly because we got to spend it with Dallin's family. I mean, I love Thanksgiving with my fam and all (duh), but really, we don't get to see them hardly at all, so it's so nice when we do! Especially on a grand day of thanks.

As odd as it may seem, we met up with them in Las Vegas, since Thanksgiving was happening in St. George and apparently that was the most convenient airport for them to fly into. But that was just fine, because it meant we got to spend a day in Vegas! Dallin and I left pretty late Tuesday night, so we didn't get to the hotel until about 2ish, and then we were up at 6 on Wednesday morning to go to the Las Vegas temple. We spent a few hours there. I didn't get any pictures because it was cold and rainy, but it was such a good experience for us to all be there together doing temple work. After that, we went back to the hotel for a nap...which turned into more of a sleep...and left at about 5 to hit up the strip and see a show.

Dallin, his little bro Dayton, and I walked around to check some of the sights of Vegas:

The sweet fountain at the Bellagio...which we actually only ever saw from across the street because of timing issues...


The "Trevi Fountain" at...Caesar's Palace? Not sure...but this one doesn't have gelato shops surrounding it like the real one does...sigh...

My very most favorite hotel...THE VENETIAN! Yes, I have a favorite Vegas Strip gotta problem?

Not only does this place have replicas of stuff from one of my most favorite cities ever, but this is also the very hotel that houses the Phantom theater! Dallin and I came here when he surprised me with Phantom tickets in July. (story here). And, you should probably Like, a big heart with glitter on it.

Anyways, after our jaunt down the Boulevard, and dinner at Chipotle (mmm...Chipotle) we headed to Planet Hollywood to catch the hypnomagician show we had tickets for. We effing waited for an effing while before they effing let us in to see the effing guy....if you don't get my drift, the guy was a cusser. Like, an Irish cusser. We walked out after 15 minutes or so. LAME. But then, we went and saw "Bolt." Disney rocks. They just do. It was a good movie! And there was only one f-bomb in it...

sometimes I think I'm funny.

Thanksgiving morning, we packed up and headed off to St. George. It was actually a pretty short drive.

Cool foggy-ness on the drive.

St. George was great! I've driven through numerous times, but I've never actually stopped there. My favorite part was the leaves- fall leaves! Those just don't happen round these parts.


Dallin's family (we were with his Dad's side) is wonderful. They were very accepting and made me feel very welcome, even though I didn't know a lot of them! I gotta be honest, a main topic of conversation was the Twilight movie, so of course I had something to say about that! The actual Thanksgiving meal was delicious, and I even found a way to stuff myself without using my back teeth!

(Side note: My teeth/gums/cheeks/mouth are all doing fine. I actually had bruises on my cheeks, which made me sad...but they are gone now. Side note over.)

Unfortunately, all the happiness was much too short lived. After a too short nap... was time to hit the road. I had to get back for work (stupid work...grumble....hate...job....grumble grumble) so we were off. It was definitely much too soon, and it made me sad! Dallin was incredibly sweet and drove the whole way...probably just as much for his own safety as for my well-being...

We drove past AZ Mills mall at about 12:30 AM on our way home, and saw the parking lot PACKED and freeway exits backed up for a mile! Craaaaazy. So glad I'm not into Black Friday shopping (and also glad I had the day off at American Eagle...)

I'm so grateful for my husband and my family. I'm grateful for the Church, for my Heavenly Father, for my Savior, and for my testimony. I'm grateful for my home, food, clothing...all the things that make my life so comfortable. I'm grateful for this country, and for the beautiful Earth we have been given. I'm grateful for good friends. I'm grateful for music, for flowers, for cookies, for rain, for good movies, for telephones, for good smelling candles, for Dr. Pepper, for pillows, for cars, and for air conditioning. Did I already mention my husband? Maybe I should husband.

It was a spectacular Thanksgiving! What are you grateful for?

Most Wonderful Time

Oh my.

I'm not sure I can explain to you the goodness of the good news I have.



My love for these delicious morsels has distorted my thinking. I can no longer decide whether the appearance of these Cookies (yep- capitalized) means Christmas is coming, or if Christmas coming means the appearance of the Cookies! Either way, I bought two boxes.

Holidays are grand. Wait until I get a hold of some Mint M&Ms.