Thursday, December 31, 2009

Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot ... whatever that means

Last post of 2009! Wow! How time does, indeed, fly. I'm looking forward to a new year and making new goals and moving forward. Being stagnant is no fun, and I never want to feel like I am being that way. Yeesh.
Mom and Craig Christmas morning

Christmas was pretty much awesome. What made it even better was that I didn't have to wait four days to fly out of Salt Lake! My flight to Portland was delayed a bit because of the lovely weather in the midwest making my plan late, but I'll take an hour delay over a four-day wait any time. I came home to intense fog! Has Portland always gotten that foggy in the wintertime? It cleared out on the mornings it dawned foggy, but I was kind of amazed. Oh, well.
Dad opens one of his many (extremely unexpected) P90X presents

In terms of presents, wow. I think my family and friends get the idea that I like to read. (gee, i wonder where they got that idea!) I got a whole bunch of books - all ones that I have read before, but I have wanted them for my personal library. It was exciting to keep on opening up all these books! (my carry-on the flight back was just a bag filled with books) So now I've got some more reading material if ever I'm in the mood! I'm a tad disappointed I didn't get to see Kelly's family open the presents I got them, but I sure hope they liked them. And Mom was sure happy to get her Cuisinart from her children.
Isn't she adorable when she's dirty?

What a funny cutie-pie.

I loved seeing my family. Jack is getting easier and easier to understand, which makes me happy, and Lucy is walking! Wow! How are these kids managing to grow up so quickly? Sometimes I wonder how Tom and Lisa manage to keep their cool when dealing with their kids, but they're pretty amazing in that they do. Will I be such a patient parent? I sure hope so. Tom and Lisa are my models for that. Oh, well. I thought Jack was adorable when he kept talking about the Baby Jesus and when he tried on my stocking as if it were really a sock to be worn. Christmas Eve was spent at Tom and Lisa's, then Christmas Day was at my parents' house. The Tom Kellys came up from Salem, so we had a good time together. A couple days later, we went to lunch with Sean and Kristina and their kiddos, and later that day Sam and Beck showed up at our house for a quick visit. Hooray for my family!
World Tour!

I could have easily spent a couple more days in Oregon, but it wasn't a horrible experience coming back, even if it did start to snow the instant Mom was supposed to drive me to the airport. Another delay, but I still made it back. And I knew someone on my flight, too, so it made the waiting and actual air-time a heck of a lot nicer than it would have been had I been surrounded by strangers. So now I'm back and life will be going back to normal. Whatever that is.
Something tells me I wouldn't fit under the tree.


"An optimist stays up to see the New Year in. A pessimist waits to make sure the old one leaves." -Bill Vaughan

Monday, December 21, 2009

Soon It Will Be Christmas Day

There are some times when I just love being an aunt. Saturday morning brought on one of those moments. I visited Kelly's family for a few hours, and when I arrived, Nicole and Jake answered the door, calling to rest of the house that "Megan's here!" Andrew came barreling down the stairs like he normally does, yelling my name excitedly. These three I expected. Then another voice screamed out my name! No, it definitely wasn't Kelly or Nate; it was Ali! I've been certain in the last year or so that she definitely knows me, but this was the very first time she ever said my name totally voluntarily (and excitedly, thank you very much). And it completely made my day. It even topped the moment she hugged me around my knees during Thanksgiving, because she wasn't saying my name then. Looks my quest for the title of Favorite Aunt is being handily won.

Not only did I visit Clinton on Saturday, I paid a visit to Temple Square with Betsey and Lisa that evening. I haven't gone to see the lights for several years, so I was pretty pumped to see them, even with the cold. The price you pay. We had a good time walking around, and of course it was two minutes after we talked about the possibility of seeing people we may know when, shockingly enough, we ran into a family I know from back home! (and it's never me that is the lucky one to run into people, really.) So that was a fun incident, but we moved along, thinking it was a one-time thing. It wasn't, to my utter delight. Twenty minutes later, who should get in my path but the Swensons?!?!? It was the most unexpected thing to see Uncle Brad walking right at me, but I was totally excited to see Camille, Brad, Dane, and Aimee, barely a month later than the last time I saw them. Lisa and Betsey were both kind of astounded at my small-world happenings, but they were good sports about it.

Aside from running into the family and friends, I've got to say that one of my favorite things about walking around Temple Square was when we watched the presentation at the Nativity scene next to the Tabernacle. There was quite a crowd gathered to listen to the narration, and it was kind of a chore to try and see the figures as they were lit up (thank goodness i'm tall), but I think my favorite part of watching it was seeing all the little children up on their parents' shoulders. It's a small and simple thing, but it's sweet. We all wanted to see the Baby Jesus. Joy to the world, for sure.


"A turkey never voted for an early Christmas." -Irish Proverb

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

C is for Cookie . . . but B is for Burn!

I love Christmas. So many happy things to be doing and listening to and participating in and enjoying. It's wonderful. Even houses look friendlier at this time of year, thanks to snow and lights. What happy feelings prevail. I've really enjoyed finding gifts for family, friends, and roommates. My home looks like Christmas, with our pretty tree and poinsettias and nativity. And on Saturday, it even smelled like Christmas!
Lisa and I pose with our masterpieces.
We were both pretty proud of the gingerbread house we decorated together.

How does Christmas smell? Like hidden kisses and chocolate diamond squares and sugar cookies. That's right. It smells like sugar and chocolate. Both of which are important ingredients in the cookies I made Saturday afternoon, when the intense desire to bake seized me with a vengeance! My roommates didn't quite know what to make of me, but I didn't care much. I was just happy, jumping around the kitchen, all excited to be making hidden kisses. And all the cookies I made turned out quite nicely. They were enjoyed both at Becky and Noah's Hanukkah party Saturday night and at the dessert night our neighbor Tyler hosted on Sunday night.
Becky and Noah preparing for their Hanukkah party.
Yes, they are still Mormon. They just wanted to make latkes.

Since several cookies of mine were consumed over the weekend, I needed to make more, so I could share my culinary talents and Christmas cheer with my co-workers. However, yesterday's experience wasn't nearly as happy, all because of the clumsiness of me. I somehow managed to burn both my thumbs while getting out a pan of cookies, even while using pot holders! I don't know how I wasn't positioning the pot holders correctly, because heaven knows I've used them many times in my life with success, but twice within about thirty seconds, I did not. 'Twas a painful experience, and Lisa was a tad concerned when she walked into the kitchen to find me crying with the cold water running over my thumbs. I laughed a bit as I told her what happened, but I was still mainly crying because it just hurt so badly. Oh, well. An hour later, I was calling Mom to amuse her with the tale of my woe, so I don't think I was in a horrible mood. But that sure killed my cookie buzz. ;) Oh, well. I survived, and my thumbs shall recover, I'm sure you're all glad to know.
Noah shares the joy of "Calvin and Hobbes" with Brandon.
(the gift i gave to becky and noah)

Hope Esther likes her "Vicar of Dibley"!

Preparing to play the dreidel game.


"I don't want to live in a world where I have to eat sugar-free sugar cookies." -Takayuki Ikkaku

Monday, December 7, 2009

'Twas the Morning of First Snow

'Twas the morning of first snow, when all through the townhouse
The girls were all stirring, not quite like a mouse.
The socks on Megan's feet were fuzzy with care
In hopes that no cold could reach her down there.

She wished she could stay all snug in her bed
With visions of heaters dancing in her head.
She wore many layers (but don't worry; no cap)
And was already longing for an afternoon nap,

When the alarm clock started and rang with a clatter
She sprang from her bed and knew nothing was the matter.
Away to her window she flew like a flash
Seeing snow outside, she felt her hopes dashed.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Was quite beautiful, yes, but she knew deep below
That, to everyone's eyes would very soon appear
Her snow-driving skills, that could hit a deer.

She's a pretty good driver, lively and quick,
No accidents, no pull-overs, no nothing, no tick(ets).
More rapid than eagles, her shower she took
Because to be slow would be cold--not fun in her book.

"Now socks, now shirt, now jeans and a sweater!
On boots, on scarf, on mittens and hat (er. . .)!"
She was dressed all in warmth, from her head to her foot,
But stepping outside . . . well, there's no good rhyme here.

She spoke not a word, but went straight to her work
And scraped the snow off her car, then climbed in with a jerk.
And laying the key in the ignition, she froze,
But the car started fine and out of the parking lot she rose (kind of).

She sprang to her job, as fast as conditions allowed,
And checking the windows every half hour, she bowed
To the inevitability of Utah and snow
And said, "Tomorrow . . . I'm working from home!"


"A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water." -Carl Reiner

Thursday, December 3, 2009

And On That Farm He Had a Chicken

Good thing I don't live in Quitman, Georgia. Well, it still would have been all right for me, but it sure wouldn't have been for the chicken I saw today as I was driving home from work. Apparently, the city of Quitman has an ordinance that prohibits chickens from crossing the road. (why? because they don't want the chickens to see what happens on the other side . . . whatever that is, i sure don't know.) Yes, that would have been one sorry chicken, had I been living in Quitman and observed the "criminal activity" the chicken was engaged in. Fortunately, I live in Orem, and the chicken was not violating any city ordinances by crossing the road. Good thing for me, too, because it completely and totally made my day!

How many people have really observed a chicken crossing the road? I sure haven't, especially not in a suburban neighborhood a block away from an elementary school! But that's what happened today. From a distance, I thought that maybe someone had been careless and left a decorative chicken in the street. It wasn't until I reached and passed the chicken (had i been another foot to the right, i would have hit it . . . and the car parked on the street, for that matter . . .) that I realized it was real! It turned its head and, as soon as I passed it, started crossing the road! I observed it as long as I dared in my rearview mirror. I tell ya, it was awesome.

So, if you're a chicken-lover or just an average person, don't move to Quitman, because it's probably strange to see a policeman giving a warning to a chicken for jaywalking.


"Big nations are like chickens. They like to make big noises, but very often it is no more than squabbling." -Dr. Albert Schweitzer