We spent the week before Christmas down in sunny AZ. It was so nice to have a week of relaxation before the big day. It has become (much to my father's joy) a Smith family Christmas tradition to peruse the endless isles at the Mesa Swap Meet. Most of which are dedicated solely to southwestern T-shirts. I was conned into purchasing some jewelry cleaner for fear that the very sparkly 99 year old woman selling it would die before the demonstration was over. Buff fit in with the colorful crowd as she lusted after a certain leather fanny-pack. I'm sure Landon enjoyed this little adventure, not because we let some strange man hold him (that's my brother) but because there is so much to smell, and look at. We made perhaps the biggest mistake by driving back to St. George on Christmas Eve. The drive lasted an agonizing 9 hours instead of 6, thanks to the idiots stopping every 3 feet on the dam to take pictures of the new bridge. Christmas morning was filled with magic, and snot... and vomit. Sam's family has been suffering from the flu, or food poisoning, it's still a mystery. We were very spoiled with gifts, and lucky to have such great families to share the holiday with.
On December 17th Sam and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary. For some reason it seems like it's been so much longer. We were in Arizona for the blessed day so I took him out for a night on the town. Well, really just to dinner and a movie. Dinner at the Landmark was mediocre (did they always serve $27 meals on cafeteria trays?). We saw I am Legend. Aside from the cheesy CGI creatures we really did enjoy it. Before the night was over, I surprised Sam with tickets to see Jerry Seinfeld in Vegas! I can't wait.
Well, we made the big move! We are officially dunzo with Salt Lake City. Right now we are living in St. George. Not only is the weather here beautiful, but the entertainment couldn't be better... and that's just at the local Walmart! Only at Walmart do they reward and even encourage you to bring your sick children out shopping by offering front row parking to those who qualify.There are many other fun things to look at before you even enter the superstore, such as this friendly neighborhood polygamist and one of his wives. He cleverly tries to blend in by walking with only one of the wives, this is done to avoid looking suspicious.
Once you get inside this little haven you will find herds of his fellow believers, surrounding you on every side. Don't try to smile at them, they will glare at you, because you are the slime of the earth. One day I will work up the courage to speak to one.
He keeps a close watch on his others, making sure that they walk several steps ahead.
We finally hosted our annual Christmas party! Well, I guess it's not officially "annual" since it's only happened once out of the three years we've planned it. Last year I even sent out invitations but cancelled it last minute. This year we had to follow through since we were moving, and we went all out! Festive sweaters and all via the downtown D.I. I fought with myself for a long time because I refuse to wear clothing from D.I, but the the stores and even the Internet produced NO worthy candidates for our sweater party. Plus, who would have thought for $5 a whole family could look so dashing! Once the first guests arrived I was awkward and nervous that nobody else would show up. No worries, half an hour later our TINY apartment was crammed with sweater wearing bodies. The blustery weather outside provided the much needed cool air, even with the door open it was extremely warm. Sam and I were sweating profusely but chose not to shed our top layer of clothing as the "dickies" worn under our sweaters would not have been modest if worn alone. We played an array of festive games. The favorite of the night was the "rip open the huge gift wearing mittens, hat and scarf as quickly as possible before the next person rolls a 4 on the dice" game. My younger sister, Kami, had no problem tearing the mittens, hat and scarf off complete strangers as she rolled the appropriate number many times. However, our dear friend Molly came out victorious, shredding 6 boxes and thousands of yards of wrapping paper to find the lovely gift card waiting in the center. Next on the agenda was the white elephant gift exchange. I happily sought out 8 or 9 extra cheesy gifts (many of them found around the house as I packing to move) in case anybody forgot to bring one. Even then we were a few gifts short. Sam and I buddied up in order to give everybody a chance to play. I am proud to say ours were amongst the most stolen items of the game. Kami, having no shame, creatively wrapped up a used nail file kit. The likes of which were probably stolen from my grandmother, many many years prior. Perhaps the most clever/cruel gift was the water bottle filled not just with water, but a living goldfish as well. The poor thing endured a few airtight, shaken hours before getting chosen. I originally opened an original Playstation, until it was stolen. Sam then foolishly stole some Wrangler Cologne which he would be happily wearing now had I not thrown it away. It was such a great night and so good to see everyone before leaving!!
While I really shouldn't complain, it is what I do best. Just ask Sam. Salt Lake has been especially kind to me in providing a VERY mild winter thus far. Last month was beautiful, no snow what so ever! I knew it was unreasonable to hope for a December free of snow, and to my dismay I woke to the lovely scene pictured above. I won't lie. I already spend most of my time inside, but now I really have an excuse. I refuse to take Landon out in such a wretched state... or maybe I refuse to take myself out. Either way, I'm doomed to stay indoors for the week we have left here in SLC. A smart person would have spent the past week packing, enjoying the weather etc. Not me. I found some other things to fill my endless days at home alone while Sam slaves away with finals and work. I shaved Landon a mohawk. He actually doesn't have enough hair for this particular style, but then he really doesn't have enough hair for ANY style, so why not?! I sold our washer/dryer on craigslist. Now I have a legit excuse for not doing laundry ;). Oh, I did take down all our curtains, pictures, and other decor around the apartment. We are far from being packed up, but it's a start! We finally got out on Friday when Sam got done with work. We went down to Provo to watch his brother play in a basketball tournament. Maybe this week I will be more proactive with my time, I guess I have to be if I ever want to leave this Frozen Hell!
We were able to spend some time in St. George for thanksgiving weekend. Since it was the big BYU vs UTAH game on Saturday we dressed up to support the team. Our intention was to get a family picture of us in our matching apparel, but that never happened. I was disappointed by the last 30 seconds of the game, but life goes on. Shhhh, I actually just pretend to be a fan because Sam's really into that stuff. We are moving to St. George in about a week (unless Sam can find a super job in AZ). Change is good, especially when it involves leaving the snow behind! We're excited to be in a warmer climate and near family.
This year for Thanksgiving I decided to go all out! We have had a 20lb turkey in our freezer for almost a year. I bought everything needed for a delicious Thanksgiving supper, and I was determined to finally cook the sucker. I don't know what happened!?! Maybe it was the fact that Sam was going to be at work. Or maybe I just got lazy. I was secretly thinking that if I had all the fix-ins somehow the huge meal would prepare itself. No luck. Thursday came and our delicious Thanksgiving meal was no where to be found. I couldn't bare to let Sam go to work on an empty stomach, especially today, so we ventured out to find somewhere to eat. We had very few options, 2 in fact. Our 1st choice, Chuck-A-Rama, was too packed. I couldn't bare the thought of fighting 500 other people over salad tongs, or watching strangers up to their elbows as they dug through the mashed potatoes. Village Inn would have to suffice. Sam got a breakfast skillet, and I got to sit next to the dirty kitchen with my tuna sandwich. Sam should have requested the day off so we could spend it with family and enjoy a real Thanksgiving dinner, but for some reason we thought that the 2 days of pay-and-a-half at work would taste so much better. Hmmmm, maybe next year... how long does a frozen turkey stay good anyway?
Landon is teething. He's barely 4 months and has 2 teeth trying to grow out of his gums. He's been a trooper! When my wisdom teeth were growing in it hurt, so I immediately had them removed. Since we can't use this remedy on Landon, he's been living on teething tablets (thanks posey). I decided since he can hold up his head, and almost has teeth it is time to introduce rice cereal. Sick. I forgot that he doesn't know how to do anything, including eat off a spoon. Bottles are so much easier! I assume he'll get it one of these days. As for now we'll just enjoy being covered in goop!
Today I am 24. Because of Sam's busy work/school schedule we got to celebrate yesterday. We went with a bunch of friends to RODIZIO! That is one thing I will miss when we leave Salt Lake. I always thought I was pretty hard to surprise when it comes to getting presents. I balance our account, so I see everything that is purchased, and I usually pick out what I want and Sam just hides it until the right time. However, in our 2 years of marriage Sam has managed to surprise me on BOTH of my birthdays! Last year he refinished an antique piano for me, and this year he sold his blood in order to buy me a birthstone ring for Landon. I love it! Rubies and white gold. It motivates me to have more kids so I can keep stacking up the rings. I also got some great gifts from my friends and family. Everyone has been way too generous, THANK YOU!!
Since Landon (Sam) wasn't allowed to go trick or treating, we came up with an alternative evening of fun. Dinner at Chili's then a marathon of "The Joe Shmoe Show". Boring to some, but a night of bliss for an exhausted mother. I wanted to do something domestic since we didn't even dress Landon or ourselves up. I am a self declared "Miss Crafty". Usually I think I'm pretty talented in this area, however, I was quite disappointed with the outcome of my latest project. My sister gave me a simple, but cute idea for witch hat cookies. I bought the "ingredients" and was excited to start. I in no way claim to be coordinated (as previously proven), but how hard could frosting a cookie be anyway??? You have no idea. I started, and just kept going. With each cookie I thought it was some bazaar fluke that they were turning out so ugly. After an emergency call to my sister to see if she had the problem, I found out that I had been doing them wrong. They were actually much simpler than I had imagined. Since I can't fathom throwing away chocolate of any kind, the ugly cookies were quickly donated to the crazy kids that Sam works with at the mental institute. I "made" a batch of the correctly frosted cookies witch were a huge hit! We had friends over and stayed up way too late watching what may be the funniest reality show ever. I highly recommend it (watching the show, not staying up too late)! Here is a picture of how a witch hat cookie should look:
(minus buff, who couldn't make it)
After we got home from California my family came up to Utah for my Grandma's funeral. My mom's mom died at the beginning of this month. She lived to be 95 years old, pretty impressive! For the last 8 years my mom has been taking care of her, so my family had the opportunity to get to know her pretty well. It was a beautiful funeral service, and really nice to have my family in town. Afterwards I got to fly to AZ and spend some more time with my family and friends. My mom wanted to re-decorate the room my grandma had lived in for those 8 years, and I was just in time to help! We peeled through 25 years of different wallpapers and gave the walls a much needed fresh coat of paint. The finished product turned out so cute! We did a pretty good job, if I do say so myself. It wasn't all hard work, I did a lot of playing too. I got my hair done, thanks Ash! We went bowling one night, I WON! Not really, I think my high score for both games combined was 47. Perhaps I should be concerned with my total lack of coordination, but I guess it's ok if bowling is never my forte. My favorite part of the trip was catching up with good friends. No matter how long it's been, we always have the best time when we all get together.
(don't worry, the putrid chair will be re-covered)