Tuesday, January 24, 2012

should old acquaintance be forgot?

my answer to that question is a firm "no."  at least when it comes to old buddies
like the bates. 

when we heard that our favorite ohana would be coming back
to the mainland for the holidays we jumped at the opportunity of getting the old gang
from our former sacred student ward back together (minus a few key players like the
geddes's, who had family in town, and the bishopric). we literally had this day of fun
planned for months - almost five hours of driving seems like nothing when your besties
live on an island!

the day started with just us and the bates taking it easy at richard's parents' house (while
the whole family was out and about).  it was so fun to meet adorable little jenna, and catch
up with sam & melissa!  the coleman's met us a bit later, and we headed to cafe rio for
lunch.  next it was on to an amazing park where our numbers grew even more when the
stevensons showed up.

the park is amazing because it has toys that even us big kids can play on...

you can't really celebrate without something sweet, so we made our way to
menchie's, where we sampled the flavors until we were full, and then went on
to buy large tubs with ample toppings to make sure we were completely stuffed.
i have to thank katie for introducing me to menchie's in seattle - my love for
self-serve frozen yogurt has grown tenfold.

the morgans caught up with us at menchie's, finally making it a real party.

there were a couple of precious hours until the bates had to get back to their
family, so we decided to spend it like we did in the old days...playing some
wicked rounds of around-the-world-ping-pong, of course.

jenna and i became fast friends

we were sad to see them go, but so happy that we got to spend the day with them!
it was a special feeling having all of our friends back together for a day, and fun to
see and hear how things have changed over these last two years (almost).  the babies
are getting bigger, the husbands are getting funnier and less hairy, and the wives
clearly look better than ever.

i'm so thankful for the time we spent in the university 1st ward, where we made
friendships that will hopefully last a lifetime.  we said "aloha" to the bates, but
will hopefully be saying it again on a cruise in 2013!

Monday, January 2, 2012

ho ho hold the presents, please

a few years ago we decided not to give each other gifts anymore, which
makes us sound like the grinch before his heart grew three sizes, but our
gift-giving history wasn't a pretty one, so it made sense to us to "give" each
other a trip that we'd both enjoy rather than crappy presents that do nothing
to increase anybody's holiday cheer.

this year, however, we bought a house (which we should've just counted as
our gift), so we decided to designate a small budget to gifts for each other so
we could open something on the day.  we were quickly reminded why we decided
never to do gifts, but more on that later.

the christmas season at least started off on the right foot...

we made some goody plates to deliver to our buddies in ogden, which
is where these minty mallows made their debut.

we rode the train down to slc with my fam to do some christmas-y things.

first we ate dinner at z-tejas, where i'm convinced i ordered the
worst item on the menu.  luckily everyone around me let me taste
their delicious selections.  for some reason people just walked around
me while i stood under the mistletoe at the entrance.  richard says it was
the crazy come-hither look on my face.

a porter photo shoot wouldn't be complete without truly flattering shots.

my mom had the genius idea of skipping temple square lights, since none
of us wanted to pretend we like the freezing weather that comes along with
christmas, so we headed to the grand america hotel for a little scavenger hunt.
this giant g-bread house was pretty impressive, but i didn't see a single cheeto.

even more impressive were the fancy-schmancy bathrooms.
clearly we don't go nice places very often, because we spent
the majority of our time playing in here.

we also enjoyed hob-nobbing in the lobby.

somehow, we miscalculated the train schedule and ended up booking it
to the station.  i almost had an accident in the middle of 5th south after mom
nearly face-planted it, and dad perfected his speed-walking so as not to do
the same thing.  we made it.  barely.

i had friday off, so i invited natasha and ashley to ogden to see our new place
and to eat at roosters.  we had a grand time stuffing our faces and gossping
like pros.  then we went to the mall so they could finish shopping.  and i could start.

we went to my parents' house for our traditional christmas eve
clam chowder dinner and a movie.  not sure why we didn't document
that, but it really did happen.

christmas morning came, and since richard didn't feel like waking me up
at the buttcrack of dawn, i did it to him.

our disappointment in the gifts given to us pretty much started immediately.
although i was certain that richard would love this sweater after he tried it on
and saw how good he looked in it, he assured me that he should have female
genetalia to wear anything with a collar that "swoops" the way this one did.

and, i do realize that we were in need of a new lint brush and kitchen rug,
but for some reason i just wasn't thrilled to see that those were the things for
me under the tree.

there were a few successes.

very few.

but things started looking up when we got out to west point.
mom was crazy about her boots and pickled asparagus.

and dad loves being able to protect his family from the
zombie apocalypse.

this lively bunch was thrilled to open more gifts at gma and gpa porter's.

all the excitement tuckered them out in a hurry, though.

we then made our last stop of the day at the shepherd compound, where
saw even more presents.

and darth vader.

as annoyed as we both were with our crappy presents - and the fact that
after being married 5 1/2 years we still don't know what each other want for
christmas - it was good to be reminded that christmas is really about the savior
and spending time with the people you love.

merry christmas!