I have three blog posts from the last couple months that either have words or pictures but not both. I can't get in the mood to finish them, so let's jump to the latest news! This is the first year since I moved to Utah that I haven't gone home for Christmas. Work was pushing me to change my preferred vacation time and then my ex-sister-in-law Sarah changed her wedding date to Jan 3 in California, so I took the week of New Year's instead.
It was an easy drive down and I went straight to my sister Jaime's. It was so fun to snuggle with my niece!
...even though she wanted to wiggle around on my back while I read Dr. Seuss books.
She didn't want me to sleep without snuggling with Deer. My nephew gave up his bed for me but came to see me every morning when he woke up. One morning I was trying to go back to sleep when he creaked open the door, so I kept my eyes closed. He kept opening and shutting that creaky door until I finally gave up and asked what he was doing, and then he came to snuggle. One day he'll be too old to snuggle, so it was worth it.
We ate so much delicious food (best grilled cheese sandwich I've ever had, compliments of my BIL David!), including a stop at one of our favorite restaurants, Bruxie, on the way to visit my parents and grandma. They make scrumdiddlyumptious waffle sandwiches. We had the holiday special of apple pie, plus green eggs and ham, patty melt, and creme brulee. Yummm! The kids were really good at Grandma's, and we had a nice visit and dinner with my parents.
Jaime scores awesome stuff all the time because she's a blogger, so she got us into Knott's Berry Farm for New Year's Eve. I haven't been in ages! We got there close to opening to beat the lines, and I got to go on Surfside Gliders with my niece, who made me totally queasy as we screamed together, plus Jaguar with my nephew.
We left in the middle of the day and hit a dollar theater. Dollar theaters...nothing quite like them. You know, where your feet stick to the floor as you walk. We saw Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (not as good as I'd been anticipating) and Free Birds (funny with many movie references), and ate waaay too much popcorn. It was great to take 5 people to 2 movies for less than the price of one normal ticket, though. We headed back to Knott's, which was substantially more crowded at this point, but nothing like Disneyland on NYE. We got party hats and those blowers that sound like dying ducks, and saw the free Snoopy on Ice show.
We decided not to stick it out until midnight, so we left and got dinner, arriving home just in time for my sister and her hubby to kiss. I got a hug from the nephew. :) The next day we went shopping, because I wanted a new skirt for the wedding, but found nothing. On Thursday, we got to see Disney on Ice, free again thanks to Jaime!!! It was a fun adventure! Such cool ice skating and I loved the "Be our guest" scene from Beauty and the Beast.
Friday was Sarah's wedding at the Newport Beach Temple. I was a little nervous, not knowing what to expect. It actually went really well. I got to catch up with people; Sarah was gorgeous; the people who aren't talking to me mostly ignored me. I introduced myself to Nathan's new wife in the waiting room before the wedding - just get it over with, right? I got to meet Jacob's wife, who is fantastic.
At Sarah's suggestion, I had a date for the day. A guy from Utah that I've been flirting with a little for a couple months came to CA and then drove home with me. We went to Mimi's for breakfast before the wedding. I had these delicious tiny waffles with bacon, cooked apples, orange zest, and maple syrup. So stinkin' good! Jaime curled my hair, did my makeup, and loaned me an outfit. I looked cute!
While I was inside the temple for the wedding, Mystery Man wandered the temple grounds taking photos (he does photography / film making). After the group shot, we left and went to the beach. We walked around while he took seagull pictures. There was a huge group of seagulls chilling on the sand, and two little girls came running from the ocean straight into the gulls, screaming and waving their arms. It was a great photo op. I love the pictures he got. Then we went to Downtown Disney and wandered the shops.
I had planned to spend Friday night with my other sister, who lives closer to the reception location, but it didn't work out. I got to see Janice at dinner one night, but I was sad to miss seeing the other nieces/nephews. I got a nearby motel instead. I knew I'd be tired after everything and we were driving home early the next morning. It was a smaller motel with a cute welcome basket and a kitchenette. It was decent for the price. I'd recommend it. Anyway, we got gussied up again and headed to the reception. I mingled. Mystery Man looked sharp. We danced. Good times.
Ditched the boy. Got some sleep. We left about 5:20am. We stopped in Henderson (Vegas) to have breakfast buffet with my wonderful friend, Alina! She and her family had just moved, so I got the grand tour of their home, which has a root cellar/bomb shelter! The drive was good. I had been worried about being stuck in the car that many hours with Mystery Man, but we got along great, with much enthusiastic singing along to CDs. I was only mildly interested in casual flirting with him before. My interest has increased. That's all the dirt you're getting.
So there you go! Gorgeous weather, fun adventures, tasty food, time with people I love, potential new guy, and happiness to be home.