Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Christmas Break
It was so good to be home for the holidays. We didn't realize how much we missed Utah and the mountains and family and all our college friends until we went back over Christmas break. I wish I had more photos with my family but we got a new video camera from Dave's parents (which we are very excited about) and so we recorded a lot of stuff but didn't take too many pictures.

We hosted a post Christmas Jerusalem party and invited as many as could make it to yet another white elephant exchange. Dave and I spent the day prior making over 80 crepes for the event- we got dang good at it... come to think of it, maybe we should open a crepe shop? It was wonderful to catch up on all the J-Ru gossip and see how much everyone's lives have changed over the past year. Jan. 8th marked the one year date from the day we all few into Tel-Aviv and began the greatest study abroad ever. In rememberance of that day, I'm going to post a picture of that holy city that we all grew to love and call home for 4 months.

Snowmobiling with my Dad- from Daniels Summit to Strawberry Lake and back (50 miles ish)

It was the most perfect day to go on this snowy adventure- the skies were clear and the sun was out. The snow was a little plowed over but that didn't stop us from tearing it up on and off the trails. Last time Dave went snowmobiling it was just him and my Dad so it was a little different to have a passenger on his back the whole time... and let's just say he didn't restrain much and I squeeze really tight.

This picture was taken at this beautiful lookout point at the top of Daniel's Summit.

It seemed like every time we went off the trail, even a little bit we tipped over and would get stuck in lots and lots of heavy snow. Dave and I took a crash and when my Dad came to help, he went down too far and got his machine stuck even more, on the left: you can see Dave trying to get down to him in the valley.

This was my dad's first day with his new toy so he was pretty excited to get her engine running and take her for the first of many rides. He originally bought these snowmobiles to use at our cabin property at Gooseberry up the Spanish Fork Canyon. Well, the cabin isn't built yet... it's a family project and won't be done for a few years so he isn't up there much in the winter yet but he's still uses them for fun whenever he can, much to my mother's dismay.

Ugly Sweater Parties and Yummy Treats!

Some how we managed to find matching ugly sweaters! I think we went to 5 white elephant exchange parties this year- it's fabulous, I love that game and I love parties. We got such a variety of gifts this year and my goal was to always use one the of the presents from the last party at the next white elephant exchange party- I was successful and people always seemed to love what we brought.

Dave took a sick day (he really did have a cold) and we spent the whole day making 6 different treats to give to friends and co-workers. It was like the Bennett Candy Factory- we made carmels, chocolate dipped pretzels, sugar cookies, rice crispy treats, puffed wheat balls, and fudge.

A Christmas with Santa Clause

Dave Santa on the right & Tom Santa on the left

I had some extra time, so for the holidays I thought it would be fun to work in the mall as a photographer's assistant or according to my husband as an elf or Santa's helper. Regardless of the title, I worked for Santa and he become a good friend of ours. We had him over for dinner, he was featured in our 1st family Christmas card, and I even took a trip to the ER with him one day when he was feeling ill. I suppose Dave was jealous of how much time I was spending with Santa that he went out and bought himself a Santa suit during his lunch break at work and surprised me one day by coming home in it. Come to find out, Dave had worn his suit to work along with some larger co-workers of his dressed as elves and toured the whole AAFES facility bringing some Christmas cheer and snickers to their fellow employees. Once word got out that he owned a Santa suit, Dave was volunteered to wear it at every Christmas party throughout the season and he is featured in a few of our friends Christmas cards.

I saw Kristi kissing Santa Dave underneath
the Christmas Tree last night!
My 23rd Birthday!
When we were dating, Dave once told me that my 23rd birthday would be one of my best ever because it would be my first one with him. Two days before my birthday he tried convincing me that we didn't have any money so he wasn't planning anything. I was so mad because I thought I married the romantic and creative man I dated. After I got off work on my birthday, Dave asked me to stop by the mall to get a few details about his GPS system we had been looking at buying on black Friday. Still mad he hadn't planned anything and had the audacity to ask me if he should change into sweats so we could go running when I got home, I took my sweet time and shopped around the mall for a good hour and a half. I arrived home to a burning fire, a pile a wrapped presents, a candle-lit dinner of shrimp and grilled pineapple, and a husband that was only hoping to buy himself 20 minutes by asking me to stop by the mall but had been ready and waited for over an hour for his birthday wife to come home. To top it off, inside of one of my wrapped presents was the exact GPS he asked me to stop and look at.
Dave did make my 23rd birthday extra special and I love him so much, although we've both come to realize that he likes surprises much more than I do. Haha, no birthday cake this year instead I got a candle in my favorite Sonic shake!


We were so excited for the BYU vs. Utah game, although we couldn't be there in person to cheer our Cougars on, we tried our best to show our BYU pride among a crowd of U fans in Texas. Dave was insistent that we make BYU football shaped sugar cookies- I had to go to about 5 stores to find a round cookie cutter and then shape it into a football but the cookies were delicious and well worth the effort. Dave is a hard-core cougar fan and sometimes stands by them through too much, like that night be bet his uncle that whoever loses has to dress up like a cheerleader and sing the opposing teams fight song. Fortunately, for his uncle and sad for us, BYU lost their quest for perfection and Dave had to embarrass both of us in his short black skirt and Utah attire while singing in front of the whole family the Utah fight song (as seen below).

San Jose, CA Reception (Nov. 15 2008)
Since Dave had to be back to work right after our honeymoon, we had to wait to have our California reception until November. It was a little strange to get all dressed up again after we had been married for a few months but it was great to take a weekend trip to Cali and see our family again. Robin (Dave's mom) had been working very hard to finish some remodeling on her house before the reception and to surprise us. Dave grew up in this house in San Jose so he was a little sad to see some of the changes (like the kitchen diner booth was gone) but everything looked fabulous. It's amazing how much you can transform a house with decorations and lights for an event.

We planned this reception around the Stanford/ USC game so we could do both in two days. The Bennett's bought football tickets for my family and all of us left at 11 am to tailgate in the parking lot, BBQ, play a pick-up game of football (Bennett's Vs. Torgersen's + Davey) and tour the campus. Unfortunately, Stanford lost the game and we had the USC fight song in our heads for the next week but the game and festivities were a blast regardless.