Jared Turns 25

Last Wednesday was Jared's 25th birthday. A whole quarter of a century old! On the actual day we had Ross and Chelsey (so excited they are in Boise!!) over. I made the famous Cafe-Rio dinner, and we had yummy chocolate cake for dessert.
please ignore my garment shot...haha
Jared explaining why he only has 1 candle (because like the bad wife I am, I forgot to get birthday candles!)
Then last weekend, in my Shannon-y fashion, I secretly booked us an overnight stay at a hotel downtown, and surprised Jared by pulling into the parking lot instead of taking the freeway home Friday night. Jared got to pick between The Cheesecake Factory and Happy Fish for dinner, and of course he picked the sushi.
It was a totally relaxing weekend, and I wish we could get away for real. The stress of our go-go-go lives is taking its' toll. For the record, going on a vacation over Summer is good, but I think the best vacation ever would be during January or February, just to give some excitement to the freezing doldrums after Christmas. We head to work when it's dark, and drive home when it's dark, it is weird to see the sun on days I get off early!
Speaking of freezing, it's been freezing here, today was the first day over 20 degrees we've had in two weeks! But we woke up to a literal ice rink all over Boise. I saw two accidents happen today! And like a responsible driver, I took pictures...but only of one.
Nothing new here though. We are still loving the house, but right now mostly the garage. Not scraping our windshield in the morning is one of the best things in the world. Oh and Lily has taken to draping her blanket over herself every time she sees me in a blanket, and it cracks me up every time.


January Blues

I have never appreciated a weekend until I started working full time.
Weekends when you are in school are a total farce. They are filled with procrastination, denial, and all-out stress due to a high volume of unfinished homework. That is not a break, it is a delusion. I didn't know that though, until I graduated. Before then, I thought I appreciated them.
Now the weekends are a glimmer of heaven. A whole 2 days of sleeping in, no real schedule to keep, and unlimited time for me and Jared (...well kind of limited...2 days...but whatever).
No responsibilities, no assignments, no....
WELL I guess cleaning the house is a responsibility.
and grocery shopping.
and paying bills.
and filing bills.
Oh and planning lessons for church (oh hey we got called as joint CTR 5 teachers in our new ward! It is so fun!...but back to my rambling...)
Going to church...that's a big chunk of time out of that weekend
Shoveling snow and cleaning up after the dog.
The occasional supplemental babysitting job I take to make a little extra.
Catching up with family
Unloading/reloading/unloading/reloading/unloading/reloading the dishwasher
DOING LAUNDRY (ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh)
Ok so some responsibilities. But procrastination? Naw...there's no....
I should have cleaned my bathrooms every weekend since we moved in.
I should have taken down all the Christmas lights last weekend.
I should have organized my once-raved-about pantry that now looks like a tornado hit it.
I should have changed the sheets in the guest bedroom after Kaytlin and Ethan left.
I should have organized my "wonderful" european-style shelves in my bathroom, that are now overflowing with an insane amount of unnecessary bath items (seriously...why do I have it in my head that I can't throw away lotion, or bath soap, even if it comes in a foil package and isn't even enough for one use?)
I should currently be folding the monumental stack of clean laundry instead of letting it sit in the basket for the 3rd week in a row, where we find the clean clothes we need and eventually the pile runs out.
But lo. The house is a mess, I don't remember the last time I vacuumed, piles of half-folded half-I-got-bored-halfway-through-and-decided-to-stop laundry are strewn about multiple rooms in my house, and the sheets upstairs are still lying crumpled, and that unmade bed, and the unorganized pantry and shelves and all that stinking laundry haunts my brain as I try to go to sleep at night.
Still...I watch Downton Abbey and convince myself it's relaxing by justifying that working full time makes it ok for me to be a responsibility-shirking heathen.
Why can't we be rich and have servants and not have to work and go to the beach every day?
That comes from me watching too much "Revenge" while trying to forget about the barricade of dirty dishes in my sink....
Even now, I had hoped that writing these things would give me the motivation to do at least something right?
Where's my remote....


Christmas 2012

What a crazy Christmas "vacation"!
The day before we flew to North Carolina, Jared's brother Ethan and his wife Kaytlin came to the house to spend the evening with us. We all went to Fork, the best restaurant in downtown Boise, and stayed up late catching up.
We all flew out the next day, and got in late. Because Jared's parents were in St. Louis for our Brother-in-law's graduation from Chiropractic school (woo hoo Dr. Strebel!), we were the only ones in the house, so we spent the next day getting a big dinner ready for the whole family to come in.
Christmas Eve Kaytlin and I went out last minute Christmas shopping, and came home to the rest of the Thomas clan deveining about 8000 pounds of shrimp that Dwayne and Ethan caught this past summer, and for dinner we had a big southern shrimp & gumbo dinner (hey, I'm always willing to try something once...).
Christmas morning seemed to come too early, we had been staying up talking way too late! We were all able to see Mason and Deacon (Vanessa's boys) have a great morning, and all got to open presents and just be together. I had spent the past couple months making these birthday boards for the whole family, and I loved seeing everyone open them!

The day after Christmas we went to the Thomas' lifelong friends' home, the Wattersons! We all worked together to make a huge breakfast. Vanessa had spent a ton of time putting together minute to win it games for us all to play, and we spent time after breakfast playing those. We had a so much fun!
On the 27th we packed up the big 14-passenger van and headed North to Washington D.C. for Mariah and Jonny's wedding the next day. It was freeeezzzing cold, but it was wonderful to have all the Thomas family and their spouses in the temple. After the wedding we headed to downtown D.C. for a delicious luncheon, then drove around sight seeing for a little while before going back to Charlotte. This was so cool to see some things I'd always wanted to see!

Saturday we rushed around putting the reception together, and had an awesome time. The food was completely delicious, and the clubhouse looked amazing. At the end we spent time all dancing together, and I was so sad that starting the next day, we'd start to head our separate ways again. We don't see each other nearly enough!

Sunday was spent recuperating and just spending time together, and we said bye to Jess and Eric as they headed to a well deserved get away to Hawaii. Monday we said goodbye to Kaytlin and Ethan (so sad!) and went on a double date with Mike and Vanessa to see Les Miserables. It was so wonderful! I haven't been able to stop listening to the soundtrack since I bought it! That night we played Ticket to Ride and Thomas Hearts to ring in the New Year.

We left Tuesday and are now back to real life. Jared started his new (awesome) job at Clearwater analytics. With no trips planned right now, we have a lot to work and save for as the new year brings lots of new projects with the house!
We are so glad we could spend Christmas with the Thomas', though I feel more sad now because I wish we were all closer. Here's to the pretend cruise we are planning and hoping it happens soon!