Thursday, January 20, 2011

holiday ABC's

I'll be honest.
My last post absolutely overwhelmed me.
Yes, it did convey a sweet message,
but it was also unsettlingly long.

so I've decided to go another route with our Christmas recap.
an entry with more of children's picture book feel.
because, let's face it.
no one likes blog novels.
Richfield pics by the one and only Mr. Parker DeMille.
Love my little hunk of a photographer.
I only wish he'd take all my pics...
so without further ado...

Adorable homemade Aprons for my dear family's favorite kitchen terrors.
Yes, my husband did ask me if I'd EVER made good toffee after my third botched batch.
Thank you for the vote of confidence baby.
An epic day of snowBoarding in the freshest of Northstar powder.
Yes, Parker did try out his new snowboard.
And yes, he did indeed fall in love.
At first I thought it might be with my crazy talented cousin Josh.
Now I'm leaning more towards the sport.
He's obsessed.
It's pretty cute.

Cabin fever!
Did I mention the contractor must have been on crack when he made the plans for this place?
I could never do the place justice with just words, but I'll do my best to paint you a mental picture.
woodsy, whack,with winding staircases and only one way out.
Did it have a garage carved out of a giant boulder?
Yes it did.
Did it have skylights over the beds piled with 2-plus feet of snow?
Yes, yes it had those too.
A kitchen for the herd to graze in?
Of course!
Did it have a hot tub on the outer balcony off the sweet master suite we shared with Jason & Ashlee?
It surely did!
How 'bout a humidifying indoor waterfall built off the side of a massive wood-burning fireplace?
Yes and yes.

Oh how this strangely beautiful fire hazard of a cabin spoiled us.
I found its quirks quite charming and worth every minute of our 5-hour online house hunt. 

Lots of minion-loving and a Despicable Me Christmas morning cuddle-fest.

Pictured above:
The minion my cute Mom created.
she's just amazing, that mom of mine.
and my minion, he's adorable.
i am one lucky girl!

Eating like a family of hungry hungry hippos.
Ashlee's food baby made for more than one raised eyebrow.
so, so funny
that seester of mine.
Ash & Haley in food comas...

And yes, this is my mess.
I took my little masterpieces outside to cool and
Everyone laughed
No one was surprised.
story of my life...

 Family photos!
I'm amazed we pulled this one off.
Between one majorly-ADD dog,
two bad attitudes,
three separate calls for retakes in the midst of severe snow flurries,
and more stressed smiles & squinty eyes than I can count,
we had our work cut out for us.
You thought we were always this good-looking???
Not a chance...

Christmas with the Greenwells, Whites & Wilsons.
Now this is a group that knows how to have fun.
I can't even begin to tell you how much I love my family.
So we'll leave it at that.
I love them!
My only wish...
that the Texas & Colorado gangs could've joined us too.
We missed you.
Hot tubbing in the middle of a Tahoe blizzard.
And having to remind a certain family member that it isn't polite to pop a zit when in close proximity to others...
even if it's your spouse's pus-pocket that's just begging to be picked.
Gas we'll allow though.
It's just a few extra bubbles...

Looking like lost little sheep amidst the Ikea herds while searching for a teeny-tiny-apartment-friendly desk.

Lots of last minute shopping, post-Christmas gift-swapping, and a newfound love for skinny Jeans.
I'm weak!
I know!
But I'll be honest.
I wonder now why I resisted the trend for so long
(maybe because I thought they'd make me look like a hippo???).
But my super sexy new boots made me set those fears aside,
and when I did, I realized... 
you can't fight good fashion.
(And because I owe it to the world to share it...
Ashlee's Fashion tip: Forever 21 skinnies
You can thank me later.)

Wishing we could give Delta Airlines a big Kick in the pants!
I won't bore you with a recap of the Delta drama we faced trying to fly into Reno,
but I will tell you of the trouble we had getting out.
We wake up BEFORE the crack of dawn (4 o'clock to be exact) to make it to the airport in time to catch our 6:25 a.m. flight.
We signed up for this flight to ensure that I'd make it to work by 10.
Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy right?!
Greedy Delta decides, again, to consolidate;
this time using the excuse of a "sleepy crew."
(which I may have believed had they not required the 11:15 a.m. passengers to join us on a flight now set to leave at 9:30...which, by measure of MST, would mean I'd now be leaving a full half hour AFTER the start of my shift.  Lovely.)
We opt to just stay at the airport.
No sense in making Dad double back to make the trip two hours later.
We try to sleep.
But it's FREEZING,
below freezing,
I go so far as to put up $13 for an airport blanket that's about as thick as two-ply toilet paper.
We try hot chocolate too.
Nothing works.
So we suffer through.
Hate our lives the whole way home.
And do the math to see if we'd really "saved" by flying Delta.
By the time we factored in the pay I'd missed for an early flight to Reno and late flight home,
and being nickel-and-dimed with our bag check,
I'd say we'd have been better off flying Southwest.
Never again Delta.
Never again.
Your rates aren't worth the trouble. 

Lazing around on Sunday afternoons.
The Bodily's came down to Richfield for a visit over New Year's weekend.
Between a big Sunday dinner, heaps of sweets, and a few intense rounds of Ticket to Ride,
I'd say we had the perfect Sunday
(though Houston and Parker might beg to differ...I made a few unintentional (and intentional) enemies at the Ticket to Ride table.  Congrats again to Kristy for her big win!  I think it saved our marriage).
We capped of the night with some couples Sequence with Kristy & Tristan before skipping on home to Salt Lake.
I only wish we didn't have to do that last part.
It's never fun leaving Richfield.

Trying to help our little PC's make peace with the newest member of our family, baby Mac.  
It's hard living in your massive little sibling's shadow.
New wardrobes, new boots and new Nikes too.
Mr. "Don't even think about breaking the budget" totally doubled it with just one "fergalicious" purchase.
I told him I'd forgive him of his hypocrisy just this once
(and maybe a second time if he decided to buy me the ones in tan too).
I'm in love with my boots.
I mean my husband.
 He spoils me.
But our parents spoil us in turn.
so I guess it all comes full circle.
We's such lucky little ducks.

Loving on my one and Only Miss Molly.
Oh how I miss my chubby brown dog!
such a goob...

(Not pictured: Tiffany deVries & Todd Marchant
And a few people we missed:
Jillian Proulx & Jared and Brooke Olson)
Parties at the White House with the original Sparks crew.
It's been a full 2 years since we've all been together.
Boys set off on missions.
Girls ran off to college.
Most boys came home to Reno's blue school.
The girls (and some boys) laid their true blue roots in Utah.
One boy married a Reno girl.
One girl married a Utah boy.
And the rest are still living up the single life
(though some are coming precariously close to the transition point
bling! bling!).
We may be living different lives, but we laugh as much as we ever did.
I love my friends...

Learning to appreciate the little Quips in the Westerns my dad so loves.
Growing up with John Wayne & the History Channel laid the foundations of what I thought would be a lifelong aversion to anything remotely related to the Wild Wild West.
I fought seeing True Grit tooth and nail, only compromising because Dad 
A. so desperately wanted to see it
B. had been a semi-good sport about all our post-Christmas shopping.
And what do you know...
I actually liked it.
Did I enjoy the ending?
No so much.
Would I see it again?
Now that I know the plot, probably not.
But I definitely felt like I got my $10 worth the day we went.
So I'd recommend it.
And that's a big deal for me,
a Western-hater and movie critic all balled up into one.

Lady Raiders Soccer
Spring 2007
A Lady Raiders Reunion at none other than our beloved IHOP.
Well...the newer version of our beloved IHOP.
The ghetto one we used to go to closed down.
sad day.
BUT, seeing my girls made up for it all.
It's amazing how much has changed...
and how much hasn't.
Outspoken Marisa's interviewing for med schools.
Contemplative and quick-witted Mo's off to Spain.
Comedian Tiff's headed out to who-knows-where on her mission.
Sweet Sarah's stealing hearts and finishing up school.
And then there's me...
all growed up and married.
Well...maybe just married.

Sledding, snowball fights, and snowboarding in a winter storm.
We hiked up and down the mountainside to squeeze in as many runs as we could before sundown.
If I can find a way to link you to the video of my colossal crash you can chuckle along with the rest of the spectators.
It's pretty sad.
But then again, so is the scene where Molly straight up attacks me.
Thank you again, Jason, for issuing the command.
Missed you too big bro.

Game after game after game after game of good 'ol Ticket to Ride Europe.
You could say we're a little obsessed.
Maybe even a little competitive.
But when you pair a card-counting Dad with an indiscriminate building Mom, vindictive little sister, and a brother who can't build a tunnel to save his life, it's impossible to resist a rematch.
My favorite Ticket to Ride incident:
We're halfway through the game.
Mom has yet to build and has half the deck in her hand.
As play continues around the table, she leans over to my brother.
"Jason...have you seen a grey one yet? I can't draw one to save my life!"
"There are no grey cards Mom.  The grey spaces are wild."
"Oh. That explains it."
This wouldn't be funny, except for the fact that my Mom's played this game...many, many times before.
Gotta love games with Mom.

Celebrating the start of 2011 in the lovely Richfield, Utah.
I wouldn't choose to ring in the New Year anywhere else.
I love being at the DeMille's.
It feels like home.
Whoever thought I'd find in-laws as silly and sassy and as I am?
Plus they're Sequence-lovers too!
It's magical.

Very Merry Christmas Eve at the White House.
We decided to do gifts before setting off to Tahoe.
Can you tell we're just a little bit spoiled?
You couldn't slap those silly little grins off our faces.
Thanks so much Mom & Dad!
And thanks again to Shauna too!
I can't imagine having missed all this...

Wii Tennis. 
I think my power serve made Parker fall in love all over again.
And, little Miss Haley, I'd like to remind you and your boy Brett that your big "W" was, indeed, a pity win.
You can thank us later for making sure he made it home before curfew.
We're so thoughtful...

This may have been just before the wii-chuck incident...
can you tell Daddy Dave has his game face on?
Making an eXtra special effort to stay positive once all the fun came to an end.
It's hard to go from go, go, go to slow, slow, slow...
especially when you're go, go, going with all the people you love.

Yukking it up.
We laughed at laughed and laughed some more.
We always do when we're with family.
We laughed at the dinky mantle, 
at Ashlee's inability to maneuver her way through the front door,
and at my Mom's concern over the black trains building all up in hers and Haley's grill
(when they, in fact, were the black team).
We laughed at Kristy's kinky (moreso kinked) Ticket to Ride trains
and Karen's bi-tracktual behavior.
We laughed when Dad unintentionally hucked his Wii remote across the room,
and laughed harder when he dove to catch the mini Christmas tree it'd fully destroyed in its wake.
We laughed when Josh whacked Uncle Glenn with a swift backhand and laughed at Jason's many whiffs.
We laughed when I clumsily dropped the tray of desserts we'd just baked and laughed harder when we realized we'd left our trifle cake out on the deck by Miss Molly's truffles.
Oh how much fun we have when we're together!
These are the moments I really miss the most.

And a craZy Christensen's shopping spree.
Because Richfield's population fills the generosity cup to the brim, Parker and I still had an account to shop with down at the local Department Store.
We set out in search of housewares, or anything else that might qualify as a more traditional wedding gift.
But we struck out.
So we shopped instead!
I am so, so pleased with our purchases,
especially my new Steve Madden coat.
It's darling.
As is Parker's tush in his new jeans.
Thank. you. Richfield.

Merry Christmas 2010
Happy 2011

You've got big shoes to fill,
but, if you play your cards right,
you could very well be our best year yet.

so here. we. go.


  1. Um wow...WHAT A FUN CHRISTMAS!!! I am super jealous you got to go play in Tahoe, its so beautiful there! So glad you had more fun and good memories with Ticket to Ride.

    Dangit Chels, I love your boots too!!! where are they from? How fun. You know they will look super cute with your skinny jeans right? :-) Cute family pics too!

    Sorry the hotel schedule was kinda crazy but someday you guys should come back down here and stay with us at the Newport Costa Villas! Paul and I are going there for Valentines! :-)

  2. Oh also the your mom's ticket to ride mishap (where are the grey cards) That is so something my mom would do!! right? ha. I also had to write again to let you know i COMPLETELY agree with you on Delta..I should have warned you before. Do you know they actually have the worst customer service rating right now? No surprise, one time they dropped my flight and didn't know why and told me sometimes this just happens....Uhhh no it doesn't. ha ha.

  3. love the family photos. love the cabin you guys stayed at!! (yes, i am jealous). haha think its so funny that u resisted skinny jeans so long. when they first came out i thought they were SO ugly and would fade out of fashion so fast, and now its basically all i own. and so glad u are joining the mac desktop family. "once you go mac you never go back"