Friday, January 31, 2014

January 2014

Does anyone want to go to work for me so I can stay home all day, daydream about being a mom, and update our neglected blog?  For the past two months I've had "update blog" on my to-do list and, well, here I finally am!  We had a great month of January!
  • Jared started his Sea World internship!!!
  • I work with a REALLY funny lady named Rose.  Here are some of her one-liners that have me in stitches all day:
    • Rose: "Shoo, this owner spent $93,000 on buying a timeshare!"
      • Me: “That’s like three annual incomes!”
      • Rose: “Shoo, depending on where you work that might be FO” (referring to her own income lolololol)
    • Rose: (Referring to a girl she saw outside) “She got a mini skirt on lookin like a bandaid!”
    • And my personal favorite (when one of our receptionists was telling Rose the phones weren't working)  Rose: “She be talkin to me like I’m AT&T or somethin!” 
  • We got two free weeks of Hulu Plus and had fun watching some Kitchen Nightmare episodes (NOT Hell's Kitchen - we love Gordon Ramsey when he's not beeping every other word).  The best was the episode where the husband's name was Mark but the wife's Boston accent was so strong that the whole show was "Mahk Mahk Mahk."
  • In an email to my sister Mikele on a mission, my mom mentioned that my sister Lauren was having a hard time with something so my mom told her, “Life is tough, but you’re tougher.”  Lauren responded with, “Life is hard…wear a helmet.”
  • Wondering where my earplugs have gone and finding them in the toilet
  • It was raining all day and Jared randomly bursted out at like 10pm: “Stop raining!” hahahahahahaha like Mother Nature hears you hub
  • I really liked this.
  • Our Pappi is famous.  Why you been holdin' out on us Dad??
  • And beautiful!  Hannah McKay told me she's doing her wedding over...
One night in January it was REALLY cold.  SOOOO cold.  We decided to open some Trader Joe's hot chocolate we'd had for a while and were thrilled that it was cold enough to use it.  After Jared took this picture of me he said, "You look really tired in this picture."  LOL

Proud owners

Went to Disney's resort The Boardwalk.  It is so beautiful!

Jared trying to see the score of a football game, haha

So handsome!!!!

More eating adventures:  "C" for Chili's?  Or Carly?

How I feel about Wendy's

More eating out (he he) : Logan's Roadhouse

I tried "sushi" for the first time ever....(we won't tell anyone it was fried shrimp inside instead of raw fish)

I let myself buy one holiday treat for each holiday and these were fun to try!

Went to Animal Kingdom

The safari ride is so fun!

LOLOLOLOL Jared on Expedition Everest

Jared's first day of his SeaWorld internship as supervisor of the Terrace Garden Buffet!  

Our traditional treat after the temple: Twistee Treat!

Sunday dinner with the Barwicks and Benches.  I basically organized a get-together so we could all eat Emma's amazing tortillas...haha.  They are amazing.  Also, I made carrot cake for the first time in my life and it was sooooooooo yummy!  

Hahaha I'm trying to remember what this stick was from but I thought he looked like a walrus

(Dad modeling his new hoodie) This has to go on here for posterity's sake....
especially the picture on the left...hahahaha
Love receiving gems like this from home!

The beginning of Jared's birthday weekend!  Getting his free ice cream from Baskin Robbins after the adult session of stake conference and me getting the most delicious blueberry donut and too-dry-waste-of-money muffin

The birthday boy!!!!!!!!!!!!  I made German pancakes for the first time and one of the corners looked like a wrinkly elbow...haha we were laughing almost all of breakfast.  1/26/14

My gift to him was tickets to an Orlando Solar Bears hockey game.  When he opened the envelope he exclaimed just like a little boy," I've never been to a hockey game before!!!!!!!!"  
haha it was so cute :) :) :)
He also requested banana cream pie because that's what his mom always made him on his birthday - Ruth, thank you for never making him like a 7 layer cake so his expectations are not high for me! ;) 

Happy 30th birthday to my eternal hub!!!!!  I love my life with you!!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Grandma Kramer's funeral

Our dear Great Grandma Kramer passed away in December 2013.  I wish so badly I could have been there.  I love this sweet, spunky lady.  Here are some thoughts I wrote to be shared at the funeral:

Hi Aunt Marjean,

Thank you for letting me write some memories of Grandma.  The thing I love the most about grandma is how important and loved she made me feel.  She was always interested in what I was doing in life and always made my life feel important in her eyes.  She was also a great example to me of loving the Savior and serving him.  She had many challenges in life but she chose to come back to church which only brought more blessings into her life.  That is a great example to me.  I have great memories of her coming over to our house for birthday dinners and other occasions.  She was always so feisty and full of energy.  She could sure keep up with anyone! :)  As I was driving home from work one day last summer, I had a feeling I should call grandma.  We had a nice conversation and I then continued to call her every few weeks.  I cherish those conversations we had.

One of the greatest memories I have of her is a few weeks before I got married, she wanted to go with me and my mom to buy my temple dress for me that I would get married in.  I can remember trying on the different temple dresses at the store and I would go out and show each dress to my mom and to grandma.  She made me feel so beautiful as she “ooed” and “awed” at the dresses I was trying on.  I was so honored and felt so special that she would buy such an important dress for me.  Grandma has impacted my life forever and I can’t wait to see her again!



I can't figure out how to upload audio files to blogger.  So note to self, to listen to Grandma's funeral it's in your iTunes under "Grandma Kramer Funeral Jan 2014."

May 2015
Dad, Mom, Mikele, Jace, Lauren, Aly, Ollie (Carly & Jared's son), Carly

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

December Update: SLC!

Who's ready for the post of a lifetime?

Going home for Christmas 2013 was AMAZING.  We love our families so much!!  I'm copying/pasting/editing from my journal so you should feel honored. ;)  Posterity, you BETTER BE GRATEFUL FOR THIS.  Here it goes!

Friday, Dec 20th, 2013: Rushing to leave house, packing suitcases and mine was way over 50 lbs, J helped me rearrange and take out and then once we got to the Orlando airport my suitcase exactly 50 lbs (!!!!!), once we landed I texted mom and dad and they never responded so I was really bugged that 1) they didn’t have their phones with them and 2) they “didn’t care” that we were finally here, but as we went down the escalator we see a crowd of people welcoming home a missionary and then I see my family squeezed towards the back of it, I see someone who looks EXACTLY like Mikele and figure out it’s actually Lauren (CRAZY), then we went to my house and saw Theo which was soooooooooooooo fun, ah I missed him!  It was so fun being with the family - I love them so much!!  Then we went to the Reids where we would spend the first four nights.  It was sooooo fun to be reunited! 

Saturday, Dec 21st: Saturday morning it was snowing soooo beautifully and I slept in but Jared got up early and went snow shoeing with his brothers (typical, sleeping in doesn’t matter to those boys!), then afterwards they played basketball, I woke up around the time he got from snow shoeing (lol), I still had some Christmas shopping to do so I texted Aly & Lauren to see if they wanted to come, Aly & I picked up Lauren from her service group meeting and then went to Red Lobster to get a gift card for m&d, went to Toys R Us to get a gift for Loren & Britney’s baby and a bday present for baby Florence, then went to Barnes & Noble to buy the Proper Feeding & Caring of Husbands for Natalie Allen as a wedding present, then went to Downeast to spend a gift card I’ve had for two years (bought the cutest shirt with some leather on it!), and then went to Smiths to buy Jared a present from Lauren and then some other random gifts.  We then hung at home for a little while and then Jenny F. came over and it was so fun to see her.  She is such a good woman.  Then Jace and I went to pick up Café Rio for the fam (oh how I love Jace and oh how I hate the Café Rio parking lot), then Jared and I met Loren & Britney at the Reids and went in Loren’s truck up to Park City!!!!!!!!!!!!!  AH it was so fun!  We walked up and down Main Street and also got some hot chocolate.  Before we got hot chocolate we stopped in a fancy purse store and this homeless/ski bum looking guy came up to me and with wide eyes said, “Good Evening.”  I said, “Hi,” like it was no big deal.  Then Britney and I went a little further down into the store and all of the sudden I felt someone behind me and heard him say, “Would you like to meet me for dinner tomorrow night?”  I said, “NO THANKS I’m married!!!!” and ran away to tell Britney and the guys.  Britney could NOT believe that just happened and we were laughing and I was trying to “wipe” him off my jacket cuz he creeped me out so bad!  Then we were walking down Main Street after we got hot chocolate and all of the sudden I see him walking up the street as we were walking down but unfortunately I was the only one who saw him and all of the sudden as he passed me he PURRED AT ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   EW gross gag I couldn’t believe it!  I yelled, “STOP!  JARED, THAT'S HIM!” and they all missed him!  HAHAHAHA they DIDN’T SEE HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.  So of course now I look like a lunatic but they just laughed and comforted me and then we got in the car and went driving around.  The ironic part about all of this was that on our drive up to Park City Britney & I were joking about how our husbands don’t ask us out on dates anymore but they were trying to say they still do…haha whatever!  It’s just too easy to stay home and watch a movie together. ;)  After all this commotion with the crazy guy I turned to Jared and said, “See?  If YOU don’t ask me out then it looks like other guys WILL!”  lolololololololol.  We then drove up a little further into Deer Valley.  Jared was our personal tour guide as we drove us around to the Resorts West office and Black Bear Lodge where he used to work, as well as the other beautiful lodges and my favorite:  the mansion homes!!!!!  It was SO fun to see all these houses – they are sooooo beautiful.  It was so funny – Loren was SO enthralled by the fact that so many of these places had heated driveways which made everything look perfect – no snow on the road/driveway and only on the yard and house.  It was so funny.  Oh also, my favorite was that sooooo many of the pine trees up there had white Christmas lights in them and then were covered in snow which just made them BEAUTIFUL.  It was such a fun night!!!!!  I love Jared and his family.

^^Love this one.

Look at the bulging belly on that trampoline!

Park City - pic on the right is looking up Main Street

Sunday, Dec 22nd: We went to the 9th ward!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Oh it was SO good to see so many people I love!  People who helped raise me, were my church leaders, friends, etc.  They are such good people.  The choir performed a lot of beautiful songs and I just loved so much being there with Jared and my family.  Afterwards it was so fun talking to so many people.  I LOVE that Jared grew up in the same stake as me because he also knew a lot of people.  People were so interested in our lives and what is going on with us; it made us feel so loved.  We all went to Sunday School together and then afterwards I went to Relief Society with mom.  Before that, Bishop Leeflang came up to me and gave me a big hug and made me feel like a million bucks like he always does, and afterwards I saw mom a little teary eyed.  I asked her if she was okay and she told me she just loved having me home.  I love being so close to her and that we were able to come home.  Afterwards, my family’s home teacher came over.  He was a cute Australian dad who brought his 14 year old son.  They are from Australia but he and his wife felt impressed that they should move to the USA even though they still don’t know why, but they followed the impression and here they are.  He works for the CES and works with Brother Davis!!!!!!!!!!  What a small world.  He shared a beautiful story about a family who didn’t have anything really to give their children for Christmas, so the mom taught her children how different things around them can be gifts and symbols of gifts God has given us.  The mom taught them about the white sky, blue ocean, green fields, etc.  I want to get a copy of the story from him because I loved it so much.  He said someone at work (or a missionary he knew?) emailed it to him one day – oh I think this person experienced this on his/her mission.  We then ping ponged back to the Reid’s house and asked Haley to show us her videos she made in school.  She is so talented!  We then went to the Annual Grant Family Christmas Party at the Reid school.  One thing I love about Jared’s extended family is that they made me feel so LOVED.  They are all such wonderful people and I truly have learned so much from them and continue to learn so much from them.  Within a few minutes I saw Britney and how she greeted me was by PURRING.  LOLOL!  I was dying.  We all ate, I talked to Alisha and Cody and some other people, and then went into the auditorium for the annual reading of “Davey's First Christmas” that Great Grandma Grant has read each year ever since her children were little.  The book is falling apart and it’s so cute that it’s been such a long-standing family tradition.  All the little kids always go to GG Grant because he keep M&Ms in his shirt pocket in a little yellow container.  All the little great grandchildren were running around on the stage and sitting by GGma Grant as she read the story.  Then some of Jared’s cousins sang the most beautiful rendition of “The Prayer.”  It was so beautiful!  Afterwards we went home and decorated my family’s Christmas tree, which is a favorite tradition of ours because we get to look at/remember all the places we went to in Europe when we lived in Germany from 1999-2004 while dad was in the military.  I’m so glad mom collected Christmas ornaments everywhere we traveled.  I was, however, a little upset because m&d decided to put the tree on the wood floor by the dinner table in that big open space instead of the usual spot by the TV………..!!  Haha it made me so sad because I love traditions.  The kids wanted it on the carpet too but m&d were so insistent on keeping it on the wood because they said it gets in the way next to the TV.  Sadly I put up a stink about I and we moved it the next day, but I just explained to m&d that because I don’t live at home anymore, traditions mean a lot to me.  Hahaha I was stink but I apologized.  It just means a lot to me!

^^Jared's amazing home!

Our trusty vehicle.  Oh my we have had that van for SO LONG!!!!!  We've had it since 1998 maybe?  Old Red, still goin' steady.

I love him.

Monday, Dec 23rd: Christmas Adam!  In the morning we moved the tree to the carpet. :-) I wrapped Nat’s gift, I wrote in the book telling Nat how I have learned from this book that all a man needs is to love and be loved and they will then do anything in the world for you.  I hope she reads it.   I want to share that with all my friends.  I went to her shower out at Ally Morgan’s parents’ new home in Sandy, wow it was beautiful.  And they even built a slide that takes you from the top floor to the bottom floor.  It was fun to see Nat and I am so happy for her!  Then I met J at his parents’ house and we met Heidi & Florence and hung out with them for a few hours!  I love talking to Heidi, I look up to her as an older sister and we are very alike too, and we just love little Florence.  Afterwards we went to see Zoo Lights at the Hogle Zoo.  J was starting to feel sick befoe we went and eventually he ended up with a bad case of strep throat, poor guy.  My family of course didn’t last very long out in the cold so we left after seriously about 40 minutes (if that) and went to Shivers.  I got the ranch burger, fries, and a pumpkin reeses shake.  After that I went to a friend reunion at Mary-Martha’s house!  It was sooooooooooooo fun to see everyone.  Regarding our personalities, nothing has changed!  LOL.  It was so fun to observe those same things as we talked.  We all sat in a circle, with Ally Spjut on Facetime on Skippy’s phone haha, and said what was going on in our life.  The girls who were there were Emily Romrell, Karissa Urry, Holly Brimhall, Skippy Worley, Veronica Olson, Lauren King, Whitney England, Mary-Martha Jackson, and April Poulter.  It was so fun to get caught up on everyone’s lives.  I text Emily almost every day and yet I don’t think I’ve seen her since she surprised me by showing up our SLC apartment doorstep back in the summer of 2012 when she came home to run the Ragnar with her family!  Crazy.  It had been like a year and a half.  (Because then she didn’t come home for Christmas 2012 (had to work) and then I didn’t see her all of 2013.)  And Karissa…she is such a nut.  She was acting all “I’m too cool to be here” and “falling asleep” and I jokingly said, “Karissa, if you are tired you can LEAVE!  No one is making you stay here!  Oh and I only see you once a year so it’s not like you owe it to me.”  LOLOLOL we had a fun time.  I love all of them so much!

Poor marshmallow, starting to not feel well (later found out it was strep).  Can you tell we were freezing the whole time there?  

Tuesday, Dec 24th: Christmas Eve!  Woke up and went to my house to COOK!  We cooked the sour cream potatoes and apple and yam casseroles. Then even though we were exhausted we baked many loaves of apple cake!  My favorite part!  It was so fun being in the kitchen with everyone, my gma, mom, Lauren, Jace, and poor sickies Jared and Aly were on the couch and by the fire, but just taking pictures and laughing and joking and helping each other and laughing at the screechy 25 year old food processor.   Then I went up into my parents room to wrap all my and Jared’s gifts.  I asked Lo and Jace to come up with me so I could spend time with them and I told them they couldn’t bring electronics because I wanted their undivided attention.  I loved that time with them.  Happy, wrapping, listening to music, just experiencing them growing up so fast.  Then we went to the Reid’s house to have a yummy homemade chicken cordon bleu dinner made by Ruth and then we all went up to Snowbird to participate in the Christmas Eve festivities there.  Oh my where do I even begin with this.  We went up to the arctic I mean Snowbird (it was SO cold!) and made it just in time to grab some free hot chocolate before the skiers started skiing down the mountain with their red torches.  It is the coolest thing!  Then right after that we went inside to grab a seat for the non-denominational Christmas Eve devotional.  The Fosters were there as well as their son Kevin and his family.  They are so cute!  Uncle Ken played the piano and we sang some Christmas hymns and then a pastor gave a message on the Savior.  It was really good but also a little weird and I remember us laughing about one part where he talked about a dump truck.  Oh.  It was actually good, he was asking God to help us feel his love, just like a dump truck dumps sand.  It was actually a cool analogy but a little cooky :-)  Now for my FAVORITE part of the night…THE DRIVE HOME.  Oh my goodness.  I don’t know how this all happened, but the boys were being SO funny and just joking and being their funny selves.  All I remember is just laughing and laughing and loving being next to Jared and also sitting by Ruth and just looking at her and laughing so hard…she and Gardner have raised SUCH an amazing family and if the worst they do it make fun of certain things and act cooky sometimes, haha then she should be one happy woman.  I just remember cracking up so much and just trying to soak up all the time with them.   We then drove to Christmas Street in Sugarhouse and that was really fun, looking at the lights and trying to remember which house was Ruth’s aunt’s house and I also couldn’t remember which house my cousin Stephanie lives in.  Britney was actually having some pretty intense contractions during this whole time and since we were by their home we dropped her off at her home, saw a couple more Christmas lights on some really nice houses, and then went home to the Reids.  OH this is actually the best part of the night.  It is a family tradition for the Reids to watch Scrooge every Christmas Eve.  There was one part where a goofy man was dancing really funny in the background of one part and they had NEVER noticed it before until this year and as Ryan pointed it out and then rewinded it, the WHOLE family was laughing SO HARD and had to rewind it so many times.  Hahahahahahahahaha.  It was a moment I will remember forever.  They have their favorite parts in the movie that they all quoted and kept laughing at and I just sat there soaking it all in.  Ah it was so fun.  I just loved seeing Jared so happy and being with his family and me loving their family and just feeling so much joy.  I am SO blessed to be married to Jared and his family!  Afterwards we went to my house, opened Christmas jammies (footie pajamas!!!!!!!!! LOL Aly having mom cut the footies off because she is too tall), and then we wanted to watch the original Grinch movie but didn’t have it so we looked it up on Youtube and broadcasted it to the TV but it was in five parts so we had to keep getting up and choosing the next section on the computer, haha.  I loved how mom was so insistent on wanting to watch it.  I had never seen her want to watch a movie so bad and it made me so happy!  I LOVE MY FAMILY, JARED’S FAMILY, AND FAMILY TRIDITIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

^^Three generations.

The sickies.

Jared drove the trusty white truck a couple times while we were there.  J says he has lots of fun memories driving that truck up at the ranch!

Wednesday, Dec 25th: Christmas day!!!!!!  Woke up at my house.  Opened presents, so much joy to be with my family, received such nice/kind gifts, Lauren got iPhone and screamed, it was a ping pong day because then we had to go to J’s house, ate breakfast, opened gifts, cute Florence opening gifts for her first Christmas, gave her a little bath duck toy for her birthday which is 12.31, gave L&B some blankets and binky medicine dispenser for their baby due Feb 8th, raced home to SKYPE WITH KEL!!!!!!!!  We were having technical difficulties but finally got it working, saw her face and it made me so HAPPY!  Link to Kel's mission blogpost.

I love her so much and she is such an example to me, then Marjean & Gma K got stuck on the driveway, Ehlerts came down for Christmas dinner, so fun to talk to cousins, Steph RS Pres, working, and going to school for nursing pre-reqs, Becca went through temple (so cool!), yummy sour cream potatoes, yams & apples, salad, ham, raced up to Gma Reid’s house, ate more food, had a really fun conversation, loved being Jared’s, went down to the Reid’s house, Ruth cleaning out cupboards and L&B telling her to sell stuff KSL, fun conversation, went back to my house, J not feeling well so called Brother Smith and went over to his house, on the way J slipped/almost fell on ice on our magical steps where we used to say goodnight (haha!) Brother Smith looked at J’s throat and gave him a prescription, he is such a saint, so humble and nice and I wish his wife hadn’t died, went home and watched White Christmas, such a perfect way to end Christmas Day, J went to bed and I was about to but as I was looking in the fridge I had a distinct impression to stay up and talk w/ gma.  I listened to that prompting and it ended up being such a good thing.  The Lord truly knows everything and has the Holy Ghost prompt us

PS.  Here is my family's Christmas card.  I had to edit it to get it on the computer so it looks a little weird.  I love them!

Rise and shine!

My best friend.  In our morning glory and onesies.

The Ehlert cousins!

Modeling my new amazing amazing purse I got from Britney.

Favorite dance in "White Christmas."

LOLOLOLOLOL.  Notice the hand placement in the right pic

Mom loves that fireplace!

The life!  The really really really really really amazing life

Thursday, Dec 26th: Went to get Greek food, love love love baklava, saw Frozen, had missed calls when got out of the theater and they were from Macy Jepsen!! They had to drive Bro Jepsen to the airport so they asked if they could stop by!  We had about an hour and a half until the Reids were coming over so Melinda, Macy, McKenna, and Claire came over and it was ssoooooooooooooooooo fun!!!!!!!!!!  I love them so much.  Macy & McKenna had just gotten back from a study abroad in Italy.  So fun!  Also, Macy is preparing to serve a mission in Cambodia!!!  She leaves Feb 19th.  It was so fun to see them and I wish I could see them more!  Then the Reids came over!!  I LOVE OUR FAMILIES.  It means so much that our families love each other, there’s no drama like other families have, and that all of them are just such GOOD PEOPLE.  I felt so much joy as we were all sitting at the kitchen table together.  Ruth & Gardner have raised such an amazing family and I am so grateful.  Our families are so similar in all the important ways.  We also watched some of Haley’s videos she’s made which was fun.  Then after they left we watched While You Were Sleeping.  I LOVE THAT MOVIE!

So beautiful.  Funny how they get it soon after I move out...

Best friend from birth!  Leaving on a mission to CAMBODIA on February 19th!!!!


Aly, Lauren, and Jace loved playing with little Florence.

I love her so much.

This is it.  This describes them perfectly.  He is her little shadow.

Love love love this movie!

"I'm handling it!"

Friday, Dec 27th: Woke up and ate bfast w/ the fam, finished While You Were Sleeping, lololololol when Jace said: “Is that how you make a baby?” (in the movie Lucy’s friend asks if she’s pregnant and then Lucy says, “You have to have se* to have a baby!”), lololololing at dinner part/“these mashed potatoes are so creamy” (see below), lololing at when Joe Jr. says, “I know karaate” and then his party hat is tipped off by the tree, went and visited Grandma & Grandpa Grant, Aunt Karen was there too, so fun talking with them.  They have raised such an incredible family and I am so grateful to be part of it!  They love Jared and he has a special place in their heart.  It is so cool to hear about that.  After that I went shopping w/ Ruth and exchanged a shirt she got me for Christmas, so fun spending time with her, then went to the Women’s Center, really cool to prepare and serve food to them, loved sitting with them and playing Bingo and helping them feel loved and normal and not shunned, then Aly and I drove to Natalie Allen’s wedding reception at Wheeler Farm, on the way there and back Aly was being so funny saying the whole “ew” Jimmy Kimmel thing, when we got home I played my family’s grand piano and practiced out of the new piano book I got for Christmas, Loren & Ruth came over to watch the sad BYU football game, I sat on the floor at the foot of the ottoman and read all the Christmas letters, loved being by the fire and with everyone and participating in that Christmas tradition of reading Christmas letters, went upstairs and was about to go to bed but I saw Jace laying at the foot of my parents bed on his temporary mattress (we were sleeping in his room) and decided to go lay with him.  I love him so much!  I could tell he was scared and deep in thought about something so I asked him what he was thinking about and he told me he has to get some shots soon and was really scared about getting them.  I loved just laying by him and comforting him and telling him it will all be okay.  I will cherish that memory forever!!!

Love this house in our neighborhood.  They are always decked out for the holidays.

The Reids got this as a gift and then gifted it to us.  Haha look at that thing!

Saturday, Dec 28th: In the morning I went shopping w/ mom.  It was such a special time!!!  It was one of my favorite parts of the trip.  She wanted to buy me some new clothes for work and new boots.  We went to Fashion Place Mall and went to Banana Republic to use the gift certificate I’ve had forever.  We went to the sale rack which I didn’t want to do but mom found the cutest pants that look like they’re from the 70s, she calls them pedal pushers, they’re like long capris, found some other stuff, so special spending time just with her.  Then we got a Orange Julius and then went to Payless looking for some boots for me.  I love her and am so grateful she is my mom.  We kept joking about how that was seriously probably one of the first times I've gone shopping with her BY MYSELF WITH NO OTHER CHILDREN.  Haha oh the joys of being the oldest child.  Anyway, I loved that time with mom.  Then Jared and I went to visit Shirley Van Leeuwen.  I love her!  She makes me feel so special.  She really is a special friend of mine even though she’s like 87.  I am so grateful I met her and that we are friends.  She is a special woman.  Then I asked Lauren to do my nails.  We listened to music and laughed with Jace as he played on his hair shop kindle app.  Hahahahaha that was SO funny!  I loved spending that time with both of them.  They are both growing up so much.  Lauren is so beautiful and kind and mature (haha different than before ;)) and Jace is growing up into such a fun, loving boy.  Then we went to Zupas as a family.  So YUMMY!  Then when we got home I wanted to show them O Wonderous Night on Youtube which worked on and off, then I wanted to watch the funny parts of While You Were Sleeping and Miss Congeniality, hahaha I LOVED seeing all my family members laugh so hard, especially my dad.  I love those memories from childhood and I love my FAMILY!

Playing the "Shark Attack" game my mom got us - hahaha a joke about how much we love the show "Shark Tank"

One of my best friends, Shirley Van Leeuwen.  I used to clean her house every Friday while I was in high school and she became one of my best friends.

The cute treat she gave me.  Ornaments with Lindt chocolate balls as the center.

Lauren is so good at doing nails!

I love him

The hilarious app we played most of the time I was there

Thanks Lo Lo!

^^Our family rewinds this part over, and over, and over..haha SO FUNNY!

Sunday, Dec 29th 2013: Went to the 9th ward, Brother Halpin and his son Chandler who is Mikele’s age and who just returned from a mission in Brazil (I think?) gave incredible talks on missionary work, and Bro Halpin talked about member mish work which was so good, had lunch, packed, then had a special girl time w/ mom, Aly, and Lauren.  The spirit was so strong and the things we talked about, mostly about us as women and our "Moral Force" I will remember for the rest of my life.  Then we went downstairs and took a self-timer family pic, then they drove us to the airport.  In the security line saw Dawn Korzen who used to be in our Hunter’s Creek ward and now lives in Harmony in our stake.  On the plane we sat next to a cute grandpa who’s been married for 30 years and each Christmas his son flies him out to visit him in Ogden (not sure why his wife doesn’t come).  When we landed in Orlando I gave him a pass along card and I hope he took it to heart and looked into it!!  I hope I hope I hope.

Haha love this one


Love this pic.  Early 2013 on the left, late 2013 on the right.

My mom sent us home with a whole loaf of her famous apple cake (yes I took it as my carry-on on the plane :))

Then on 12.31.13 little Florence turned 1 year old!!!!  We love you so much!!!

Also on 12.31.13 my amazing Great Grandma Elaine Kramer died peacefully in her sleep at age 97.  Here is her sweet obituary.  I love and miss her a lot.  Fittingly, the only pictures I have of her are ones that describe her perfectly:  SPUNKY!!  I'm so glad to know that I will see her again.

My fam went to spend NYE with the Bryans and they sent me this cute video:

We spent NYE playing games with the Benches and Barwicks.  Then we went out on their balcony and pretended to be drunk!  Such a fun night!  Scattergories is my new favorite game.

HAHA Chris wins for the best drunk face

 YAY for such an amazing year.  Wow!