Still catching up folks. But guess what? This post at least brings us into 2011! Go Team Venture! Speaking of Team Venture, guess what we did again? We bought each other the exact same present for Christmas. Seasons of the Venture Brothers.
Are we just the world's truest soul mates, or just highly practical? I like to think we are just made for each other because we are so practical. We both got one another other things too, but I had to laugh Christmas morning when the super-great present I picked for him was rendered moot. Again. We did this a few years back when we both got each other Wii systems. This was the year they were impossible to get. I went through Hades and back to find one then made a big show of pretending he wouldn't get one. I never thought he'd believed me as I'm a terrible liar. When his friend called him saying a store he was at had some, he rushed over and the rest is history. I refer to it as "the reverse gift of the Magi".
Where was I? Oh yeah- this holiday season. So! A few days after Christmas we traveled down to Cedar City to visit our friends Ann & E.Jay. They were our first (and some of our best) friends in Michigan. We were so sad to lose them this past year. Stupid graduating. The only upside is that we moved into their old apartment. I wish I could keep it as clean as Ann did. Oh well. Here is a group shot of us at their current place down in Southern Utah. E.Jay was taking the picture, so he isn't in it. Also- I stole a few of these from Ann's blog. Thanks!
We had such a great time there, I wish we could have stayed for a month. One night we threw all the girls in together for bath time. I love this picture for Eleanor's "smile". Yeah, I'm not sure what is up with her, but it is showing up more and more often.
Finally I had to say "Show me your teeth!" and it got them all to smile together. Such cuties! They had a freaking blast playing together. This makes me miss them all the more!
We were able to stay at E.Jay's parent's bed and breakfast. It was sooo wonderful! They live downstairs with their sweet little dog. Eleanor wanted nothing more in life than to chase this little dog around. Look at her happy face in this picture!
And here! When it was time to leave she kept saying "T'mon doggy. T'mon doggy." When the dog (Missy?) wouldn't go she grabbed both her ears and started to pull. Whoops. Luckily this is a dog that is used to extra toddler loving.
It even had a nook! It was so fun to stay in such a pretty place. If you are headed to Cedar for any reason, definitely look them up. They are called Cherished Memories.
Back in Utah Valley, we got to celebrate Clayton's 30th birthday! His official present was tickets to the Lions/Patriots game back on Thanksgiving, so we just went out with family for his birthday. Actually, we had planned on a big get together with about 16 people at the restaurant, but we had a crazy snow storm that day. We ended up with just his parents, my brother Tom, his wife Jenni and their daughter Megan. We still had a great time and an amazing meal.
Ichibans is probably our favorite sushi place in Salt Lake City. Even if you aren't into sushi- they just have incredible food. Look at our pretty rolls.
Embarrassingly, I kind of forgot to make him a decent cake. Luckily Jenni had a spice cake mix that we whipped up last minute for him. Poor Clayton. He often likes to play the "my birthday sucks" card. He claims his family always forgot with it being so close to Christmas and New Years. Sadly I can empathize with his mother, it is SO easy to forget! You are just barely getting over all the Christmas whatnot and it hits you- "Oh Crap! His birthday!" It sneaks up on you. I haven't forgotten yet, but this year wasn't quite what I had meant it to be either. Um, I love you Clayton.
That night we played games and things got intense. My friend Julie introduced us to a game where the only goal is not to lose. No one cares who wins, as before each round starts everyone agrees on a dare that the loser has to do. And it has to be serious, like strike real terror into your heart. It's crazy-fun as you think up these awful things because, hey- there is NO way YOU are going to lose. Then it gets close and you start to sweat. Then you lose and you have someone drawing a star on your head in permanent Sharpie. Or you now have to drink 8 ounces of pickle juice. Or you have to go roll around in the snow in your shorts. Or make an embarrassing phone call to your confused uncle telling him that the crepes he wants to serve at reunion give you gas, only you can't laugh and let him in on the joke etc etc... (All real dares btw.)
The very next night we got to party some more! Jenni's sister Kristy and her husband Jason throw a killer NYE party. They have it catered by Chilis. Um hello awesome. They throw it at Tom & Jenni's house for the central location for all of their families. Here are Kristy & Jason and part of the sweet spread.
The Smarts brought the freaking funnest game called Just Dance. Do you have it? Can we borrow it? Clayton was a good sport and joined a round or two. Little Allie is in the green shirt next to him. She was hilarious to watch.
She tried so hard but was always about 2 beats behind, which was adorable, but hey, she's 4. I also love little Abby K in the blue shirt. She is a bit of a dancer, and I love how "into it" she gets.
People played this for hours.
People played this for hours.
While downstairs was devoted to good old Rock Band. Clayton can get 100% on dozens of songs on expert. Not sure why he isn't in the ward choir.
After the countdown. Eleanor was out around 9. We didn't want to push it with her. Sadly back in Michigan, we are still on Utah-time a whole month plus later. For example, tonight she went down at 11 PM. Her doctors office changed her recent appointment to next Wednesday at 7:45 AM. I thought they were joking. We haven't been awake before 9 AM in weeks. Ugh.