Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Buck!

On Sunday we had a little birthday dinner for Buck, even though his birthday isn't until this Friday.  With traveling back to South Carolina, we wouldn't have had time to celebrate it then, so we squeezed it in early.  Who doesn't like stretching out the birthday celebrations?!  My grandparents serving as missionaries on Temple Square were able to make it, as well as our neighbors (the Tiner's), Buck's accounting group, and the Tingey's.  These are the real party animals since they stuck around the longest (married people know how to party too!) so we rewarded them with some Christmas crackers.  Check out the awesome crowns and prizes!  I mean an eye patch?  Who wouldn't be happy with that?!!

We also took a Christmas card picture for Buck's Parents to send out.  Isn't Garrett's outfit the best?  It's from his favorite Aunt and Uncle of course!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Merry Christmas Mon!

For Enrichment this week, we had a lesson on traditions.  We talked about creating and preserving ones we wanted to use with our relatively new families.  The lesson was pretty good, but nothing stood out to me of things I wanted to plan on doing with our tiny Bagwell family.  After the lesson, we went around the room sharing one tradition from growing up that we enjoyed.  For some reason they started with my good friend Jessica, and I was second!  I don't think well on my feet, so I didn't even get to share my favorite family tradition.  Even though we no longer do this, I would still consider it a tradition because (1) I remember it from my childhood and (2) we did it for more that one year.

As a family (and by family I mean my grandparents, their five kids, any spouses, and any children) we would pile into our wonderful copper van (like the one Lani later drove to high school).  By pile, I mean we would sit in every nook and cranny of that "funk wagon" that would (to the naked eye) clearly only hold seven tops.  We would don our favorite Christmas attire, unload at an unsuspecting friend/neighbor's home, crank up the stereo, and sing (or Christmas Carol rather) to "A Reggae Christmas."  If you aren't familiar with this album, you are surely missing out.  My parents discovered it on a trip to the Caribbean (I believe) years ago, and originally purchased the cassette.  For some reason, it's the only Christmas music I can't get sick of.  I even sent some of the hymn-like (but still groovy) songs to Buck on his mission to sort of break him in before hand.

Even if Buck and I don't pile into an ugly copper "mystery machine" and embarrass ourselves to all of our favorite neighbors, I at least hope to always have the sounds of the Islands in my home at Christmas.  After all...all I want for Christmas is a real good tan, right?

Although this is my favorite, there are several others I would love to carry on.  We weren't allowed to look at ANYTHING without our parents being up, which I think is only fair.  We also HAD to have our teeth brushed (which is strange because we usually brush them after breakfast) before we could dive into the living room.  This was excruciating, but we couldn't stop giggling the whole time!  I also grew up with a different Christmas tree (and theme) every year.  Although Buck and I don't have the space or money to do this yet, I plan on designing a Christmas look for my home every year as well.  Oh, and we will have a fake tree.  I think real trees are a waste of money and energy.  I'm not opposed to a very small one in addition to our family one, or a wreath.  I like the smell, but who doesn't?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Viva Las Vegas

Buck and I just had our first "non-honeymoon" vacation.  We wanted to do something with the time we had off for Thanksgiving, but didn't have enough money to fly all the way to South Carolina.  We decided that Las Vegas would be a great place to visit since I've never been, it's a pretty quick drive, and it's within our budget.

We had a blast!  The hotel (Mandalay Bay) as nice as we expected.  We had a large room with a pretty good sized TV...and CABLE!!  Buck was very excited to catch up on PTI and other ESPN produced shows in real-time versus watching them online later.  It was great sleeping in a larger bed without having springs poke you all night as well.

We shopped and shopped, and shopped some more.  We got many fabulous deals at Planet Hollywood's "Mile Mall."  If you ask Buck, we probably spent a bit too much time there.  I did end up talking Santa into buying me some brown equestrian boots from Ann Taylor while we were there.  I can die happy now.

On Wednesday (our first full day there) we started the day off right with breakfast at The Paris.  Made-to-order crepes were what drew us in, but everything there was great.  We then tried to find Xan's mission office (which we never did) and visit the Temple (which closed early on Thanksgiving eve).  It rained and rained, but we still walked around for a straight 6 hours visiting every hotel and store on the strip.  We estimated walking about 10 miles in one afternoon/evening.  Needless to say we were exhausted after all of that!  Because of the rain we didn't get to see the outdoor show at Treasure Island, but we did get to see the water show at the Bellagio.  I've always seen this in movies and haven't thought too much of it.  Can I just say I walked away with my mouth open?!?  It was awesome, and free of course!

Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, we decided to take it easy.  After all, we had just practically finished a half-marathon the day before!  We slept in, then went downstairs to Mandalay Bay's buffet for Thanksgiving dinner.  We ate an unbelievable amount of food!  I personally ate at least three dinners and six desserts.  They had traditional Thanksgiving food (meal 1 for me), sushi and loads of seafood (meal 2), as well as fruit, salad, and other random goodies (meal 3).  THEN I proceeded to walk over to the dessert buffet with a dinner plate.  Yes, I have no shame.  At least Buck and I shared that, but we both ate until we were in pain.  After a nap and some family phone calls we visited the Shark Reef Aquarium.  I LOVE aquarium's, so this was a treat.  They actually had barracudas in there, but picture taking was impossible.

We left on Friday (when the sun finally returned of course), but not before visiting the Temple and In-n-out burger.  Buck thought it was the best burger place he's ever been too.  I was upset there was no chocolate in my "Neapolitan" shake.  All in all, it was a great vacation!