Saturday, August 30, 2014

Stuff I Did in December 2013

I bought more Dowdle puzzles because I love them and with downtime during the holidays, I like forcing family to help me put them together. 

There things were bomb from Trader Joe's. I need to go find a similar something in stores now.

Marcello was gone again on tour in Europe. We Facetime'd. Isn't technology amazing?

Oklahoma got some snow before I got home. Honey looks cold.

Meanwhile, back in CA, I was at Disneyland in sunny skies and enjoying the fake snow blown out during the evening show.

Taylor and Courtney were in town for the annual company trip to Disneyland.






I participated in a secret santa group, and despite the $5 limit, my Santa was really good to me! I knew right off the bat who it was, but Mike M didn't confess til the end, after he sent more stuff to my house in OK!

I went one night with Jihan to see Angelica Houston speak about her new book. Just outside was a singing santa on a trailer.


She's lovely.

I completed this puzzle in LA before I went home, and took the other to OK.
I mailed out Christmas cards. I feel like I should start this tradition. It's nice to get mail, so I'm going to send it.

I went to the Watkins Family Christmas special at Largo with Mike and  Kristen and Corbin and man, we had a laughing good time.

Homemade hot dog for dinner next door before the show.

Sometime in there I had lunch with Lisa at Pono Burger. It's so good! I think this burger had some figs, hazelnuts, balsamic, and arugula. It's awesome.  I love their lemonade and I love Lisa.

This in December? Yes, please. What have I gotten into, moving to Utah?

Relief Society Christmas Party up in Bel Air. We had a fancy tent outside to stay warm. 

Cher and I went on a hike one day.


And then we grabbed lunch at Sycamore Kitchen. It's delicious.
Their bakery is bomb, and this is the best donut I have ever eaten. The texture, the weight, the flavor. Gingerbread donuts - get yourself there next holiday season.

Chill Ice World at the Queen Mary! Jami organized an outing. We've gotta import the cold and pay for it in California.


All ice!

I was so ill prepared to enter ice world. Poor choice of socks and shoes - I had to borrow socks sand scarf. Thankfully they give you a coat. It's cold in there.




Then we walked over to the Queen Mary. I'd never been on before.

Hello, Long Beach.






Yeah, I think that's most of LA last December.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thanksgiving in Arizona 2013

The great Carpenter family reunion was set for Thanksgiving in Arizona, and my parents and Tanner were headed in from Oklahoma, so I made the drive over from LA on Sunday.  

I stopped at T's on the way out of town, I think were ending things. Just say no. 

These drives are always good times to catch up on my Above & Beyond podcasts. Though I'm really hating the podcast app on my phone lately.

The all too familiar border crossing. I don't miss those drives now.

There was a crazy ice storm in Oklahoma and around, and the family left a day or so late, but they brought Honey and made it in time for turkey!  Sadly, dear Honey departed from us in April, and she's now living in doggie heaven. We miss her.


The five Carpenter siblings take turn hosting the reunion every other year, and this year it was Grandma's turn. The Williams clan gathered at her place, then headed to the church to set up and decorate the place for Turkey Day. Her church building was the only place that could hold all of us.




Tanner and I manned the sign in booth and handed out nametags.

And we got to watch over the desserts.


Aunt Jaylene and crew set up some kids crafts.



Grandma and Grandpa Williams got up to tell some stories. We've got a pretty good family history thing going. These are good stories and traditions. At some point there was a talent show. And a go-round-the-room to share everyone's latest life happenings.

I double-plated it.
Grandma Williams and her sister Corene. They're now the last two Carpenter siblings.

Great Uncle Kenneth passed away just over a week ago. I'm sure glad I got to see him last year. He could always make us laugh.

We sang some weird songs that the old folks know. Me and my cousins - not so much.


There's the talent show. Glad I'm too old to be in this group anymore.

And cousin David had some old videos of Great Grandparents Carpenter. I remember her playing the piano when we'd visit.

I'm pretty sure Uncle Rick made this pozole. It's so good.

Dad likes it.




Thanksgiving was a good day. On the drive back up to Mesa, we stopped by the Gilbert Temple. Man, it's pretty.




Grandma Kleck had crazy big grapefruit. I love AZ winters.

Eric was in town, and I was pleasantly surprised to get a call from him. I met him and Shannon for dinner.

And of course, a Mesa trip isn't complete without a trip to see the lights at the Mesa Temple.



And we must get Bahama Bucks. I've had a lot of shaved ice this summer, and BB is still the best.

We thought Honey the dog had eaten grandma's blanket, but it turns out that it just disintegrated during the night while Tanner slept on it. Hilarious. It's one of those foamy ones. You know?

I met Megs and Holly in downtown Phoenix at a crafts fair, where they were selling their tulle skirts. I'd love to be able to pull one off, but I just don't know.

And then I met Lishko near Sundevil Stadium for some tailgating before the ASU/U of A game. Small Wildcat crowd, but I went to support! Turns out I'm terrible at beer pong, even when sober.

I had dinner with Chantal one night at Tottie's. We ordered so much food cause it all sounded so good!

Hung out at Meghan's and watched her prep for her Holidate party. Wish I could've stayed in town to attend! Also, I really should get a Christmas tree.

And then, back to LA through an AZ sunset.




Last November, with a Little Trip to Austin

Stuff from last November! At work we made little bandanas for pets in shelters. I guess when they have a colorful thing around their neck ...