Tuesday, December 30, 2008

So much to say, so little time!

I am going to make this as short as possible. So, to make a long story short, if I am even capable of that, is that it has been a crazy, hectic, wonderful holiday season.

Starting with Thanksgiving. We all got to go to Salt Lake and spend it with my family. I loved it all. And I seriously loved meeting my two new nephews. They really are so cute you can't stand it. Just being home and spending time with my family made the start to the season fantastic. We were able to do some really fun things. Here are some highlights:

-Temple Square with Joce and Ben and our kids
-yummy Mexican food
-HEAVENLY Thanksgiving. My mom is seriously one of the greatest cooks alive!!
-going to Burger Supreme and Puddin' on the Rice with Jocelyn. Don't ask me why it was so fun. It just was. Maybe because we laughed so much at dinner about old nerdy boyfriends. Or maybe it was because we went to Puddin' on the Rice first because there were supposed to be crepes there, but there weren't. So we sampled EVERY flavor of rice pudding they had and then left, promising to come back. Which we did. :)
-Shopping with Jill, Jocelyn, and my mom.
-Going to the craft fair that Jill told me about. I got the best new diaper bag that I am seriously in love with.
-making toffee with Jill, minus the one that we undercooked. Amazing that it still got eaten. HAHA!!
-watching Uncle Ben play so much with my boys.
-Jackson getting his first be-be gun. I think it is called soft pellets or something. Thanks Uncle Kevin. :)
-The list could go on!!!!

Jason had to leave a few days earlier than me so after I flew back home with the kids, it was a quick couple of weeks before we headed to Oregon to spend Christmas with his family. But in that 2 week span was the Ward Christmas Party. It all turned out great and I am SO glad it is over. I really do have a pretty awesome committee. Thanks to all of you that helped put it together. And YA HOO it's over. :)

I also had to plan and create Jackson's class Christmas party. I totally forgot about it and the teachers reminded me that it was on the 18th, the same day I was leaving for Oregon. So lucky me. . . I got to lose my mind and go have a party right before we headed to the airport. But the kids were darling and it was very fun.

Now for Christmas. We got into Portland on the 18th, to FREEZING cold weather. Driving home through the Columbia Gorge was stress full for everyone, but mostly for Larry (father in law). Chains were required and it was slick! What should have taken us 3 hours ended up taking us 6. Here are some highlights from Boardman:

-watching the boys snow mobile with their daddy and Grandpa Smythe. I even got to go out with Jason on the snow mobile. But he drove. Last time I went my friend Amber and I totaled her dad's snow mobile. :)
-Going to Leavenworth, WA and watching the boys go sledding. They LOVED it. -Christmas morning. That says it all. The magic that is so real for my kids makes all the stress and craziness of Christmas worth it.
-Eating at Taco Time. Crisp bean burrito!!! (Can anyone see that I love Mexican food? Cheap or not).
-visiting with Jason's family.
-an ice machine that CRUNCHES your ice. Oh yeah, that craving is back and it was so good to have so many bite sized pieces of ice.
-This is by far one of the funniest Noah moments ever!! While in Utah he became ADDICTED to Home Alone. Not my number one choice for a 3 year old, but what can you do? (Thanks Aunt Jocey). So, he continued his passion for it while we were in Boardman and our last night there we stayed in a hotel in Portland. He was all fired up about having to take a bath that night and giving us all sorts of heck. After the bath was over and Jackson was out and Noah was still in the tub we all left the bathroom. Noah begins like this.
"When I grow up and get married, IF I get married, me and my family are living alone!! I'm living alone!! I'm living alone!! You hear me? I'm living alone. I'm sick of all these kids running around!" And if you have ever heard little Noah talking, he has the CUTEST little lisp you have ever hear. So re read this and add the lisp. :) I was practically peeing my pants on the hotel bed. It was impressive how similar he sounded to Mccauley. My child has a gift! And while it was very sassy and naughty of him to be yelling like that, we had to laugh.
-pure realization!!

But I do have one thing that is not a highlight for me on that trip. On Christmas morning my mom called and told me that my dad was in the hospital and had a heart attack. It ended up that he needed open heart surgery. (5 bypass). So, I spent many hours consumed in thinking about him and what he must be going through. I was worried about him so I can only imagine how my mom and dad must have been feeling.

He had the bypass surgery yesterday and finally got his breathing tube out today. He is awake, it took him awhile to fully open his eyes and keep them open, but he did. And he his all drugged up. Now he is just going to have to recover and regain much of his strength. Yesterday was emotional for me just imagining my dad there having had such a major surgery. Jason started explaining what they would do and I had to make him stop. It was just too much to take in. Noah made a creation on his plate today with lifesavers of me crying about Grandpa. :) I got a little laugh out of it.

I guess thinking about someone you love so much be so still and bandaged puts a lot of things into perspective for you. Life is so precious. And my life has been so greatly blessed with amazing parents. My dad has been one of my best and truest friends since I can remember. There are many secrets we have shared, promising not to tell mom. I can't begin to imagine what things would be like with out him around. Luckily for us, he will be. I am grateful for the surgeons that took such good care of him. And mostly for the incredible power or prayer and priesthood blessings.

So, I guess I didn't keep it too short, but I tried. Just think of everything I could have written, but didn't. Because trust me, there is TONS! :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Round #3 NYC!

I have been home now from 2 trips and need to post about each one. I don't know if it is my pregnancy or just plain laziness that is keeping me from the blogging world, but I am starting to miss it. :)

The second week of November I took my third GIRLS trip to New York City and it was fabulous. Melanie, Brooke, Elise and I all left on Saturday and stayed until Tuesday. It was perfect. Yummy food, great shopping and spectacular shows. We ended up getting to see three shows in all.

1. Radio City Christmas Spectacular

2. White Christmas and. . .

3. In The Heights

I seriously loved them all.

We also got to see our old friend Kim Kitley that used to live here in Pittsburgh and that was great. I am actually going to cut and paste another person's post about it. I think I have forgotten too many details to write them all down. So don't judge me for plagiarizing. :) And a special thanks to either Melanie or Brooke. I let you try and figure our who. :) I did changed several things so it isn't as obvious. :)

This time round I mostly went to New York to be with friends and to see Broadway plays. I didn't feel the need to rush around to all the sites (which I felt we covered most last time we were there). We stayed on the 36th floor of the Marriott Marquee which was right on Broadway in Time Square. It was a great location (we stayed there last time, too, and I just love it).

We arrived about noon, and decided to hit Soho first. We went to a couple stores, ended up purchases some things at a local NY favorite little boutique, Gap (I know, real exotic), eating a really yummy sandwich from Dean & Deluca's, (I wolfed down the hugest apple fritter on the face of the planet) and running off to see the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular (you know, the one with the Rockettes). It was a pretty good show, and put me in the mood for Christmas. I was teary at the nativity and bringing live camels in. While Melanie reminded me how hard it would be to actually keep those animals in NYC. Still, it was touching. :)

Brooke and I both immediately saw the sigh for White Christmas and went to find out ho much the tickets were. The response, $120, was not really an option for us. Bummer. But then the ticket agent mentioned that they do a lottery an hour before the show, we said, 'Yes, please!" So the next day, we went to Union Square for breakfast, stopped by the American Girl Doll store for a quick visit (I know I am an adult, but I was with some girls who are a little passionate about AGDs), and then went to put our names in the drawing for a ticket to White Christmas. The way that the lottery worked was that each person could put in one name for a chance at two tickets for each name. They had 22 tickets to give. If your name was drawn, you could purchase two tickets for 26 bucks a piece.

Now, I never win anything, except I did once win a give away on a blog, so I had little faith in the drawing. But we all ended up getting called and freaking out at the same time!!! The tickets were front row, right dab in the center. Excellent! The play was awesome, with several song and dance numbers added that weren't in the movie and most of the favorites! Being drawn was probably the most exciting part of our whole trip!

After the show, we ran uptown to a really good little pizza place called Patsy's. Thanks to Lisa for guiding us to so many delicious places. So good. Then we hustled back down to time square to make it to another show, "In the Heights'. Elise and I were shoving our faces as we ran down the street. Pregnant girls gotta eat! It had an urban Latin vibe and it was funny and very well done. I loved it I think most of any of the shows. And I loved that I could actually understand everything they were singing and saying. Who says missions don't serve me in the future? :) Just kidding.

Afterwards we went to Cafe Lalo. It is the same little cafe that Meg Ryan waits for her blind date in You've Got Mail. The dessert was good, but I mostly liked the atmosphere.

The next day we met up with our friend Kim (who accompanied us on our last NY trip) for breakfast at Norma's,where I ate a SCRUMPTIOUS egg quesadilla. And the hot chocolate was divine. I got my own bowl of melted marshmallows and whipped cream. HEL-O!! Afterwards we went to FAO Schwartz (the toy store from Big), walked down 5th Avenue, went to the top of the Rockefeller, and saw Kim off at Grand Central Station.

On the last day, we visited Ground Zero, Century 21 (a store, not the real estate agency), rode the Staten Island Ferry and then we divided into two groups- one headed for the Doughnut Plant, the other headed to the hotel to check out and get at taxi. Well, everything took longer than planned, I underestimated the length of the taxi ride to the airport and we ended up making a mad dash to the airport. We barely made it- it ended up with Melanie running through the terminal in just her socks, and the rest of us running behind with our bags and boxes of doughnuts, with "Run, Run, Rudolph" in our heads. We BARELY made it. So, here's me. All fat and pregnant, RUNNING (more like wobbling), BARLEY making my flight because I had to buy 1 dozen doughnuts. :) And I wonder why I am gaining weight so rapidly.

But we made it and the doughnuts were worth the adventure. I think Melanie was shocked to see h ow fast I could eat that first Tres Leches doughnut. One second it was in my hand and then next, it disappeared. I got skills! :)

So, thanks girls for a SUPER DUPER fun trip. I had a great time with you. So many fun memories we shared. Especially just sitting in the hotel room late at night. Speaking of the hotel room, how did the 2 pregnant girls end up in the same bed. I think there was some planning on Brooke and Melanie's part. :)

And especially thanks to my wonderful husband that played SUPER dad with the kids. You truly are amazing and I love you for doing so much for me.

And next I will post about my Thanksgiving trip to Utah. Give me a few weeks. :)