Friday, January 23, 2009

Ridiculously Long Post- Beware!!!

Well, I must admit I’ve been procrastinating this entry for quite a while. There was so much to write about that the thought of it was daunting. I’m going to do a "quick" rundown of the rest of the stuff we did while we were in Utah, just to have it on record. If I don’t, then I won't ever do it. Now I can move on with my life.

On December 26th and 27th we stayed at the Raddison in SLC with the Harvey’s. The first night there we went to the Jazz game and played games afterward. Bella has acquired, through no effort of her own, her first Jazz outfit. Now every time her dad dresses her he chooses that outfit instead of the “Daddy’s Girl” one. The next day we swam in the pool. This was Bella’s first time in a pool. At first she didn’t like it, but then she got used to it and had a blast. Thanks to Anika for letting her use a little baby swim suit. It was well documented on both my camera and Marlene’s camcorder. That night we suited up Bella in her Fleece Old Navy special and went to see the lights at temple square, beautiful as usual.

We had the good fortune of going to the temple with my parents and little sister. I’m not sure if my favorite part was the actual session we did, or the 20 minutes it took to get there. It sure beats a 7 hour round trip drive. When we were deciding where to eat afterward Ryan was all about Chuck-O-Rama. Although I’d never been there before, we discovered that I had an irrational aversion to the place. I later discovered the dislike was rooted in the “O-Rama” part of the name. It summoned images of ten gallon hats, overbearing mascots and lots of blinking lights. To my relief there were none of the above and I was able to find food that I liked. Afterward we went to my parents house and did a “mini” game night. It turned out that Settlers of Catan is not a short game. I think that was the first time we’ve played games without them getting angry at Ryan’s tactics. That might be because he decided that the game would never end if he didn’t help someone win. We got home at 2:00 AM.

On New Years Eve we partied at the Harvey’s. Said party included a rebroadcast of Celine Dion on channel 7, punctuated by Darren’s commentary on Celine’s moves. The Broken Swan was a favorite. At midnight we broke out the noise makers and then jumped into bed.

Among the other life changing events that happened on New Year’s Day, the Harvey men decided to make a pilgrimage to Phoenix, Arizona, to pay homage to NFL playoffs. As the evening wore on our plans evolved from a trip to Cedar City to visit my grandparents the next day, to Ryan doing a 20 hour round trip drive with the rest of the Harvey men to see the Arizona Cardinals in their first playoff game. This was also the first playoff game that this franchise has seen in 30 years. Fans of many teams were counted among the five person party, the Raiders, 49ers, Broncos, Cowboys, and Buckaneers. None were Cardinals fans, but they just wanted to go to an NFL game. They promised to eat from the McDonald’s dollar menu the whole trip in order for Marlene to grant her approval. She did, which is why I went to Cedar City without my husband or my baby girl. Bella stayed with Marlene who could give her a healthy dose of prunes to soften up her bowls, and keep her happier than I could on a four hour drive.

My trip to Cedar City was memorable. I was able to sit and talk with my grandparents one on one. I think I talked to them more in the day that we were there than I have in my whole life collectively. It was wonderful to learn about them and understand them better. Dad heard Grandma telling me things he had never heard before.

When I got back from Cedar I was well stocked with tidbits about my grandparents. Ryan was still flying high after reaching one of his major life goals—going to an NFL game—and was more than willing to share about the experience.

On Sunday January 4th I went to Grant’s baby blessing and dined on sandwiches and some cookies that violated the word of wisdom. It mentions addictive substances in there doesn’t it? I still need the recipe, Anika. Ryan showed up an hour before we packed up and came home. An Arizona blizzard made it impossible for them to get home before the blessing.

On Monday Amy styled my hair fabulous at the Aveda Salon. It is now much less accessible to tiny fingers, plus it is way cuter. Merry Christmas to me! The guys went to a Jazz game that night, so us girls did a girl's night. We went to Mimi’s Café, where we found joy in their famous spinach and artichoke dip. After ward we went to a movie and we did it all without kids! Thanks mom for watching Bella.

On Tuesday I used my gift certificate from Ryan and got a full body wrap and polish. It felt soooooo good. And the day just kept getting better. I got to use some of my Christmas gift money to get some new clothes, and Alicia came all the way up from Loa just to shop with me. J/K, I think she would have turned back if I had told her that was my plan.

Wednesday was Darren’s Birthday party. He requested we eat pizza and watch the Jazz game on his new HDTV, which the family was more than happy to do.

On Thursday Alicia came over in the morning and did All Body Attack with me. It was nice to see it kick someone else’s trash. The workout got all my wiggles out as usual, which worked out well for the session we did at the temple with Mark and Marlene that afternoon. If only had gotten my giggles out too. We went to Iggy’s for dinner, and the championship game. We forgot our Oklahoma blanket at home, so we felt a little out of place. Elli covered her ears and scowled at everybody in turn every time the restaurant erupted into yells and cheers. She tried using the commitment pattern with Mark and Ryan to get them to stop. I think that’s the first time I’ve ever seen Mark refuse a request from Elli. She even said “please.” We played games with my family for the last time that night. Anika brought over a game called "Puerto Rico," which probably would have been longer than Settlers of Catan if Anika didn't leave early and take the game with her.

On our last day in Utah I finally saw some of my old friends! I met Vany and Sabrina in Salt Lake. It was wonderful to see them both doing so well. After a few short hours of chatting we skipped off to the Harvey’s for the going-away party. The Stod’s popped in one last time to see Bella, and got there just in time to paparazzi Bella while she ate her baby food. The festivities ended at about 11:00 when I decided to be responsible and start packing our stuff. We made it to bed by 2:30. We headed to the airport early the next morning. Even without a scale I knew that our bags were about ten pounds over the weight limit, and that’s without the heaping pile of Christmas gifts that wouldn’t fit into our luggage. It’s a good thing Marlene was waiting for us to give her the green light before leaving, and Ryan packed a garbage bag just in case we had to paw through our bags at the check-in counter. We made it to the airplane for the last boarding call. I promised the attendant that Bella, and everybody else on the flight would be happier if they let us take her car seat on the plane with us. She let us. Bella slept the whole flight home and so did we.

Now we are back in windy Kansas. When we got off the plane there weren’t any greeting parties with signs and balloons, but Chris, Ryan’s classmate, was waiting outside in a surprisingly spacious Nissan hatchback.