Friday, January 20, 2012

The Past Month in Review: Holidays, Skiing, LB's Visit & Other Events

Greetings, blog readers! There may be only one or two of you out there, but greetings nonetheless. It’s been over a month since our last update. Let’s see, what has happened…

-- Jon’s contract working as a pipe insulator ended a little bit before Christmas. Shortly after, he was hired as a ski tech at Canyon Sports downtown after enduring a grueling, six-minute interview. Still not exactly where he wants to be, but he does get free skiing and rentals. Silver lining, people. He’s still applying to jobs in his field, so keep sending us the good vibes.

-- We had our own “Christmas” morning the week before Christmas and exchanged our presents. I got SKIS and tickets to the Nutcracker! Jon got a national parks annual pass, a wool bike jersey from New Belgium brewery, and some natural soaps/shampoo (good for camping)! It was a really nice morning. We enjoyed mimosas, an awesome breakfast, and family time! Romy liked her present, too. Later that day, we exchange presents with Ben & Sara, too. J

-- Saw the Nutcracker at the Capitol Theater downtown. Slight anxiety when the huge mice were scampering across the stage, but otherwise lovely! We both really enjoyed it. We also checked out the Christmas lights at the Mormon Temple that night which are RIDICULOUS. There have to be literally millions of lights. That whole place is practically covered in lights. Every branch of every tree. Insane! I’d hate to see that electric bill…

-- We went home for Christmas. It was a short trip due to the fact that my vacation time wasn’t usable yet. Highlights include:
  • Getting a flat (or, more accurately, completely exploded) tire in my parents’ Explorer on our way to Jon’s parents’ house on Christmas Eve. It happened around 2:30 a.m. EST only 20 minutes from the Zerbe house. Talk about Jon & Jenn luck right there. Fortunately, Jon changed it with relative ease and we got to the house by 3:30 a.m.
  • We exchanged presents with the Zerbes on Christmas Eve. We gave Jon’s brother a Bichon Frise calendar. Hilarious. We also watched the Zerbe 1991 Christmas on VHS and it was very entertaining… for me.
  • Shared Christmas morning breakfast with the Zerbes before making the 3-ish hour drive to LaPlata to exchange presents with the Bridges family and have Christmas dinner and played board games.
  • I got my godson, Matthew, a head lamp that was a total hit!
  • Had a post-Christmas brunch the next day with lots of my family. I also colored like 3 pictures that day and it was glorious.
  • Summary: delicious food, awesome presents, and time spent with family (and friends because I did get to see Christina!). J

-- Went skiing at Brighton on 12/30/11 for my first time this season. I wanted to stay on the “bunny” slope, which I will henceforth refer to as the BEGINNER slope because there’s nothing bunny about it since it requires a lift and everything. Highlights include:
  • I started feeling really good on my skis. I was making good turns, controlling my speed pretty well, and didn’t fall once…
  • I wanted to try a green slope after practicing for some time. We mistakenly took a lift that led to only blue trails. Hysteria ensued. I skied-fell-skied-fell-cursed-skied-fell-walked my way to the bottom. Not pretty. But, at least we know where not to go for now. Again, silver lining.
  • We saw a porcupine cross the ski slope. Tried to get a picture, but failed. He turned up on the news a few days later after he was spotted at the same ski resort chatting with some skiers on the deck.

-- We decided to plan our own New Year’s Eve bar-hopping adventure through downtown Salt Lake City since we had no idea what else to do. Jon had to work until 9 p.m., so we were starving by that time. We drove downtown, parked in the first spot we could find, and ducked into a little Italian place for dinner. After dinner, we started our “crawl” with The Beerhive Pub right next door. We ended up not hopping at all, and stayed there chatting with a couple from California. Good beer selection and super cool ice block surrounding the bar to keep your drink cold, but they had no champagne for the New Year’s toast. I was slightly saddened, but not really. Good times.

-- Spent New Year’s Day on the couch. Oh wait, that was just me. Jon had to work at 7 a.m. He did bring me a ginger ale over lunch, though. Nice guy.

-- We went to a Utah Jazz game! I got free tickets through a vendor at work. The seats were great and the Jazz won! We rode our bikes to the stadium, which is only about a mile or so from the house, which was lots of fun.

-- Skyped with our MD friends Danielle & Jason who gave us the VERY exciting news that they are ENGAGED! Wahoooooooooooooo!! We are very excited for them and send our love and congratulations again!

-- LB came out to visit 1/13-1/16! YAY! It was a great visit. Highlights include:
  • Lauren got to see Romy (the highlights could really end after this bullet, right? ;) )
  • Went to Red Iguana for dinner. Played Logo with Ben & Sara and Jon did NOT win! (I’m really not competitive, I swear…)
  • LB & I walked Romy in City Creek Canyon, got manicures, toured downtown SLC, checked out East High where High School Musical was filmed, etc.
  • Went night skiing at Brighton. It was LB’s first time and it was a rocky start, but she stuck with it and by the end made it down the BEGINNER (there’s that word again) slope twice without falling. She’s all amped for skiing now which is cool.
  • Did a hike on Antelope Island. Saw mule deer, coyotes and bison. Oh, and a BISON STAMPEDE like 50 feet away from us. Cool, but also scary. I don’t mess with large, beasty animals. (Okay, it wasn’t really a stampede per say, but they were running.)
  • Had a fabulous dinner and night of laughing with my cousins Brandy & Lance, their kids, and my Aunt Linda & Uncle Tom! And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention their entertaining dog, Charlie! J
  • I did not go to work on Monday and therefore we all laid on the couch for a very long time. I am not exaggerating when I say 3 on-demand movies were purchased that day. Don’t judge.

-- We went skiing at Brighton last night. It started snowing a lot in the mountains finally, so all the Utahns are excited. Skiing went pretty well, I was on the green trail the whole night and only fell one time. I’m getting better. Jon makes it look so easy, though… and I hate it. J I have made a personal goal to do a blue trail by the end of this season, but you know willingly… not on accident like that time before…

And that brings us to the present! We’re enjoying our time in Utah and know we have only just scratched the surface on all the adventure that awaits us! Enjoying the winter (although, I’m seriously considering getting long johns for underneath my work pants…), but we’re also really looking forward to warmer weather activities like biking, hiking and camping!! We also have some more visitors lined up: Jon’s parents in February, Andrew Schmidt in March, and Jon’s friends from WVU Will & Sam also in March! PLAN YOUR TRIPS! Love & miss you all. This post was really long, so congratulations if you made it this far.

This post summarized in photos: