Thursday, December 4, 2008


...that is how many miles we drove during the Thanksgiving break.

We decided to do the Texas three step during vacation. Ken had negotiated for a few extra vacation days, so we had about a week. On Sunday we left after church and drove to Amarillo where we stayed the night. The kids loved spending the evening swimming in the pool. The next morning we began our drive to San Antonio and our visit with the Hansens.

San Antonio was where Ken served his mission and he was excited to be back in his old stomping (or should I say his old biking?) grounds. We drove by some of his old apartments and mission office, but the highlight was our visit to the San Antonio LDS Temple. It was beautiful and set up on a hill overlooking the city. It wasn't there when Ken was there almost 15 years ago and it was exciting to see how the church is growing. We walked around the grounds and enjoyed the spirit that was there.

After visiting the temple, we went downtown so we could see the Alamo and the riverwalk. It was so much fun learning more about the history of Texas. We loved the taking the kids on a cruise of the river and we were pleased that no one fell in. :) That night Jake surprised us by making arrangements for a babysitter so we could go on a double date out to dinner. And then Jake saved me by working on my back. (Thanks Jake! It felt so much better!)

On Wednesday, we headed up to Ft. Hood to meet with Cyle, my mom and dad, and Codi and Coby's family. We enjoyed a great dinner together and a movie night at Cyle's townhome. Thursday Uncle Cyle gave all the kids rides on his motorcycle. They all thought that was the greatest!

We got to have Thanksgiving dinner at the Mess Hall on Ft. Hood. They had decorated the mess hall beautifully and even had a pardoned turkey out it front. (Gobble, gobble!) The servers were all dressed in their dress uniforms. The best part was having Clint call us from Iraq while we were eating dinner. We all got a chance to talk to him. That really helped to put the day into perspective for me. We obvoiusly have so much to be grateful for. Most of all, our freedoms and the great land we live in.

Cyle gave us a quick tour of the post before we headed down to Houston to spend the rest of the weekend at Codi and Coby's. We had a fun weekend of the cousins playing, shopping, and just being together. It was so much fun!

On Sunday we started very early to make the long drive home. We are so lucky that our kiddos are so good in the car! We were making great time across Texas and enjoyed the drive and listened to The Westing Game and The Indian in the Cupboard on CD. Once we got into New Mexico we hit a snag. There was a huge storm and the roads connecting to I25 were closed and even I25 was closed because of all the accidents. We really flet like we needed to get home so we backtracked to Oklahoma and and went up the eastern side of Colorado. It was a long night -- we got home about 4:00 am.

It was a great trip! We visited great friends and loved the time we were able to spend with family. I think that made me even more thankful at Thanksgiving.


My birthday week continued. The big celebration was on Friday night when some friends and I went out to dinner and then to see Twilight. I had a blast! I loved being with my friends and making some new friends as well. We had a delicious dinner and talked even more than we ate.

After dinner we headed on over to the theater to see Twilight. Of course, the movie wasn't as good as the book. Overall, I would give it a B. It felt a little low budget, but I did enjoy it and I am looking forward to seeing it again.

I am constantly astounded by the amazing women I am blessed to call my friends! It was so fun going out with them and I was tickled that they would celebrate my birthday with me. I totally needed the night out and I hope they all had as much fun as I did.

A special thank you to Tirsa for my new Twilight shirt. It was nice to dress for the event. :)

Happy Birthday to me!

On November 19th at 12:42 am, I officially turned 33 years old. I seriously think that time is speeding up! I can't say that I am anxious about being older, or even looking older. I am fairly content about my life (most of the time) and am pleased with the things I have learned, accomplished, and experienced. So I guess I'll wear my age as a badge of honor of the life I have lived. Maybe I'll hit the panic button as I get closer to 40. :)

Ken had to be out of town for my birthday, but we celebrated before he left for Ohio. He took me out to dinner at Famous Dave's -- yummy ribs! -- and then we were going to go see the new James Bond, but I was too tired. (Maybe I AM feeling my age!) So instead we went home to watch something on PPV and Ken decided to give me my present a few days early.

For about the last 4 or 5 years I have wanted, okay, maybe really closer to coveted, a DSLR camera. Sadly, it never seemed to be in the budget. Well, Ken must have been feeling particularly generous and got me a great bundle deal from Costco; a Canon xsi, 2 lenses, memory card, and a camera bag. I responded appropriately by smothering him with kisses. :)

I am loving playing with my new toy and I am so excited to learn more and hopefully improve my photography skills.

I am grateful for wonderful friends that helped me feel so loved, even while Ken was gone. I received flowers (having fresh flowers makes the whole house feel more beautiful!) and Jen and Brandie watched my kiddos so I could go to a voice lesson (my lesson went really, really well -- I am so happy I am improving!) and do some shopping. It was a great day! Thanks everyone for all the fantastic gifts, but most of all for your friendship, love, and support. I think being 33 will be great!