My third Christmas was in Tennessee- home sweet home. It was snowing the night I came in, but has been fairly warm since then.
Danielle gave me Christmas-y nails. She is amazing! :)
Christmas was interesting this year because, due to water damage, we are getting new hardwood floors... the workers were here until 5 pm on Christmas Eve trying to give us some floor to have Christmas. Thank you nice floor workers! Here are some Christmas Eve pics:
We still had our Christmas Eve cheese and chocolate fondue:
Santa was nice to us... I got this remote controlled helicopter...
My dad got this tent. He has already slept twice in it in the backyard. I got my mother a Better-than-a-Snuggie which she is sporting below.
Lastly, I got to meet my friend Jeneal's little baby McKayla. SO CUTE.
Tomorrow Danielle is having a baby girl, so maybe I'll put more baby girl pictures up soon:)
My first trip to the Pacific Northwest! I visited Paul's parents in Port Angeles, Washington. It was beautiful there and it was fun to spend time with Paul and his parental units. I got to do "Christmas" with the fam because Paul isn't going to be there for Christmas, so they celebrated early. Here's some trip highlights (and for all you Twilight fans, this is where the books take place!).
Lake Crescent (in between Forks and Port Angeles I think):
The rainforest at Lake Crescent
The Hendricksons were so nice to have me in their home! Here's Dan, Paul, Judy, and Hunter the dog.
They even made me pizza one night!
During our Christmas celebration, Hunter got three whole presents:)
They even had presents for me! I am so lucky:) They got me smartwool socks and some nice notecards. Paul got me a cute little stuffed bear and....
A Better-than-a-Snuggie. Wow.
Port Townsend (It's east of Port Angeles I think):
We ate at a really yummy restaurant on the port.
I LOVE lighthouses and I was freaking out about this one. Isn't it beautiful?
Paul, Judy and Hunter with the lighthouse.
Hanging out with the ocean.
For all you Twilight fans! :) This sign was on the way home from Port Townsend.
This is the view from the house. Judy owns 3 llamas that live in a barn to the right of the house. This is their pasture:)
Here they are! I only remember one name- Einstein is the one on the right.
I fed Einstein with my own bare hand! It was a new experience for me haha!
Judy feeding her llamas.
Ferry on the way to Seattle!
Paul took a bullet for me. Paul and I were sharing a very romantic moment together on the ferry as we watched the Seattle skyline come closer and closer. Then Mr. Seagull decided to poop on us. Paul saw it all in slow motion and pushed me out of the way, because the poop was coming toward my head. Consequently, he took one for the team.
I only got a little splash on me:)
We saw a Mannheim Steamroller concert in Seattle.
Overall, a dream vacation and I didn't want to leave. But the fact that my next destination was Tennessee helped a little bit:)
My roommates and I had 12 hours of Christmas on the 12th. Clever eh? We decorated Many's little tree:
We had craft time where Katie taught us how to make cute hair accessories:
During music hour, Kate and Many graced us with their skills and played Oh Holy Night on flute and harp (SO pretty!):
We had a gift exchange too! I got Katie some earrings and made her a CD. Many got me an adorable hat and the best socks. She knows I love socks and these ones are going to be so warm because they're thick and have wool in them. Yummy:
Here's a yummy Christmas recipe. You should definitely make these this Christmas season:
Christmas Pistachio Bars
1 1/2 c. Flour
1 t. Baking powder
1 t. Salt
1 Package instant pistachio pudding (I would get Jello brand- other brands change the cookies a bit...)
2/3 c. Veg oil
1 c. Sugar
1 # M&Ms (Red and green ones- regular milk chocolate)
Preheat oven 325-350 degrees. Grease a 9x12 pan. Mix the first four ingredients. Separately mix the last eggs, oil, and sugar and beat well. Add to the dry ingredients and mix vigorously and quickly (that's my favorite part). Add most of the M&Ms. Pour into the pan. Sprinkle the rest of the M&Ms on the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Merry Christmas!
I got to have Thanksgiving with Paul this year. This was a treat, especially considering I've worked the last 5 Thanksgivings! It was so fun to spend a lot of time with Paul:) Here's what we did:
We unpacked Paul's garage.... or maybe Paul unpacked it while I talked on the phone...
At lunchtime on Thanksgiving Day, we volunteered at the Salvation Army in Cheyenne and it was SO fun! We were lucky we got to do that since it was just us two for the holiday and we didn't need to cook for anyone:) The favorite part of my day. If it were possible, I'd love to make it a regular part of my Thanksgivings. I'd recommend it to anyone.
We waited on tables for people that came for their Thanksgiving meal...
And we wrapped presents...
After, we went to 2 more Thanksgiving get-togethers (Yes, I had 3 turkey dinners total... wow). Paul and I brought these yummy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies:)
We decorated Paul's house for Christmas. Step one of putting up the tree:
We'll skip the next few steps, 'cause you can probably imagine them. Step whatever:
All done!! Christmas is magical:)
Paul and I exchanged presents early. He got me a beautiful framed print of the Nashville LDS temple signed by the artist. Maybe the best present I've ever gotten. I love it:) Thanks Paul.
Last but DEFINITELY not least... I accidentally made my first batch of Christmas pistachio bars.
I hope everyone had wonderful Thanksgivings with their families and friends. I am thankful for everything Heavenly Father has blessed me with and I know I don't even realize most of it!