Tuesday, March 26, 2013

More Stuff that Happened in January

This time, it was Colin's birthday!  We gathered at Bossa Nova and I chowed down on that really good chicken-wrapped bacon stuff that's smothered in a Gorgonzola cream sauce.

Recent birthday boy, Masato, was on hand to surpervise.



And then it was time for the long awaited Local Natives concert that sold out in a hot second. It was on the day their album dropped, and I was really happy to be there.

Superhumanoids opened, and I really liked their sound.  Looking forward to their album coming out soon!


Friday, March 22, 2013

Links I Like

Some links I like, lately.

And guess where I run across all these things?  Google Reader. WHICH IS SHUTTING DOWN. Have I told you how angry I am about this?  REALLY ANGRY.

Still looking into alternatives, and I guess I have a couple months, but still.  So. Angry.

Okay. Rant over.



Thursday, March 21, 2013

Stuff that Happened in January

Geoff got married! To the lovely Danielle. Kirsten and I rode down to the OC together to celebrate the nuptials.  Geoff and I met online years ago, Kirsten and I know each other from DC, Kirsten and Geoff went to grad school together in Scotland, and Geoff has since moved to DC from CA and Kirsten and I ended up in CA from DC. Oh, and Kirsten works with Geoff's mom.  Got that?  I love all these funny connections.

Their getaway car.


Cute, huh?





Oh, and I first moved into a ward with Geoff's cousin, Julia. So many links!

This little girl cracked everyone up, carrying around her baguette and nibbling on it all night.

From weddings to birthdays! Masato had a birthday, and he wanted sushi.

Always stylish with his accessories.



After sushi, we headed up to the Observatory to see some city lights and eat some cupcakes and have some random Korean guy take a group photo of us, which turned out terrible. He emailed Masato the photos and they were so blurry and awful, even though he had a really nice camera, a tripod, and he used the flash.  Trust the Asian, everyone said! Yeah....my little iPhone shot was all we had.





I guess I went to Disneyland.

Oh, that was the night we had beignets inside Disneyland.

And then we had beignets outside Disneyland.

And then we went to Sonic and ate more fried food at midnight.  Blech.  Sorry, stomach.

I made up for it the next day with Mike, by having a salad.

But then we tried Churros Calientes, finally, and ate more fried stuff, so.....yeah..... But this place has real Spain-like churros (not Mexican cinnamon ones) so that was a plus. Even the dipping chocolate was perfect!


Monday, March 18, 2013

Musical Monday

Thanks, Liz for inviting me to the Boy show a couple weeks ago. I've ended up seeing them again between now and then!

A couple Swiss/German girls with lovely voices. Sometimes you just need that.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

LA NYE

Leaving AZ and family and Christmas was a little tough, but it had to be done eventually. The ocean welcomed me back to California with a beautiful sky.





I gave in at Target. When's the last time you had a Little Debbie snack?

Father John Misty played at the end of Dec and I figured I should see him. He's got quite the personality.


I visited Masato up in Bel Air, where he lives with Grandma L. Nice place. Nice view. I could live in Bel Air.

Masato wore green pants to church, in honor of Christmas. I recently found out that some older ladies in my ward just call him Matt, because they're afraid of mispronouncing his name.  I find this hilarious.


I welcomed in 2013 in a most low-key way. People asked me where I was off to this time, but I'd made no fancy travel plans. I think I'm getting into the settle down stage of life. Though I did just email Tim and tell him we'd better do something for NYE 2014.

Friend Julia sent out an email that she was flying into town on NYE and didn't feel like doing anything but gathering friends at home and making food once she arrived. That sounded great to me, because other options involved driving to Orange County, and I just don't always feel like doing that.


We played some Apples to Apples. The cards you win are the ones that describe you, right?




Ball drop, Psy, Auld Lang Syne, and I was ready for bed. Hello, new year!

Friday, March 08, 2013

2012 AZ Christmas

It's Christmas! Gas was under $3 when I got to Arizona, and I thought that was quite the gift. Quiktrip, I love you.

Taylor and Courtney only had a few days to get away from work, so they came down to AZ early, before the rest of the OK family would arrive. I drove over the day after they got there so we could have some quality sibling time. It'd only been two weeks since I'd last seen them at Disneyland.

We decided to try out a nice hike at the Wind Caves, though driving into the park, the ranger told us that the main trail to the caves was closed, because they were doing a helicopter rescue.  Whoops.  We found some other trails to hike while watching the helicopter, fire trucks, and ambulances race around.

I've seen this Phoenix and arrow sign SO many times from the air, and I finally figured out where it is! That was a little treat.


We kept getting text updates from mom, dad and Tanner while they were making the drive from Oklahoma. Honey was excited to road trip!

Meanwhile, we headed south to visit Dad's family for the day.

Cousins!  Drew and Nikki were able to come from Kentucky.

Of course we had to go to Bahama Bucks on the way home. Double punches on the rewards card since it was below 60 degrees.

We spent the next day at Aunt Lauri's. She's got decorations like this for every holiday, I think.

Winter in AZ is pretty awesome.

Finally that evening, the OK gang made it! It'd been awhile since we were all together. It was the start of a great Christmas holiday. Dad and Taylor had to catch up about their new matching phones.

I've missed her.

Tried to convince Tanner to shave his beard.

Honey found her spot under grandma's arm.

I took off one night to have dinner with Celisse, who was back in town from DC. It'd been way too long since we'd seen each other, and it was a lovely night with some of my favorite food at Postino.


Siblings.

The usual.

I love puzzles, especially Dowdle puzzles, and Courtney made me open one present early. What a perfect one! I continued the tradition of making the family do a 1000-piece puzzle when we're together.


She's bewildered by these stairs. Doesn't like them cause her little paws can slip. Poor thing. 

Went to church with Megs, not realizing that my old ward had split. Strange! We found a treat on the bench and almost ate it.

Back at Grandma's house...

Kari Ann sang in a choral performance, so I went to check that out. Afterwards I paid a visit to her house to see Einstein. Yep, he still loves me.

Jorge was in town from Australia! We got to hang out a bit too. I've know him since my early Georgetown days, and despite us crisscrossing the country and continents, we're still good friends.

All the Williams boys went shooting.  Beware, future husband. This is what you'll be doing on Williams Family Holidays.

Christmas Eve dinner at Grandma Kleck's.  I think we were only missing Aunt Karen, who was stuck working in Alaska.



Some of Aunt Becky's gang.


These two were cracking us up.



Grandpa got out the guitar and sang us the song of Ole Shep.





Christmas Day we drove back to Coolidge to dad's fam. One quick trip before Taylor and Courtney had to fly back home to Utah.

Grandma works hard in the kitchen.

And the menfolk talk about guns.

Parker!

Christmas Mexican dinners are the best.

Can you say tamale?



Gift time. I don't even remember what's in there.

Nice photobomb, Drew.

There's Grandma.

Alexis thought she was going to pop any day! I think she sadly had to wait a couple more weeks.



And that was the end of Christmas.

I had another lunch date with Jorge and my brother, where I finally tried out Federal Pizza. It's part of a restaurant group that I just love, but I didn't totally love the pizza. The veggies were nice though.

Tanner, not Jorge.


Tried the donuts and chocolate for dessert.  Meh. Not as good as it sounded. Should've gone to Churn across the street. 

We all got shopping gift cards for Christmas, so I took Tanner to try and spruce up his college kid wardrobe.

Went to see Les Mis in a fancy dinner movie theater. I thought I was in a nightclub. Oh, fancy Scottsdale.

Alisson kept us entertained for a good bit. She and her mom (my cousin) just came back to the US from Ecuador, and the cute girl speaks some funny Spanglish.

I took Tanner to meet Einstein.

And we finished the puzzle!

I think that wraps up Christmas 2012. It was a good one. A really good one. I almost didn't want to get back in my car and drive home to LA. Being with family is the best.

Back to the Balkans! And I'm Getting Married...

Let's try something revolutionary. Let's try writing about a trip immediately upon return! So back in November or something, there...