Last Post of 2011

Here we are, almost to 2012! It seems like it flies by faster every year. We're not sure if we'll head to a party in Simi this weekend, or save the gas money and just cuddle at home. Either way we'll be together to ring in the new year (it's Michael's favorite holiday).

Last week we used some movie passes to go see Twilight (lucky for Mike he wasn't the only guy in the theater). I liked it, but definitely felt that some moments were over-dramatized (especially with all of the cheesy background music). I'm anticipating more cheese in the last movie. I also baked cupcakes with my visit teaching companion April and we took them to the rest of the young women presidency members and our visit-teachees. I'm glad I've made a close friend and have someone to talk to and see around here (including my aunt and uncle); it's funny how much we have in common.

We also saw a play at Fullerton's Maverick Theater called "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" with two other couples from church. SO. GOOD. Definitely making this an annual tradition if we can.

For Christmas we drove to my parents' house and then carpooled to northern CA for our first Christmas ever in my sister's neck of the woods. It's rare for all of us to get together so I really enjoyed soaking in the whole day. The drive up the 5 is a boring monster but we managed it. Thanks for taking such good care of us sis!

Allyson's new cat Harriet
Harley, pobrecito loved his stuffed toy
Ozzy loved his reindeer
Harriet getting used to the dogs
Nom nom reindeer
Am I in trouble for this? awww.

Ever since I got married I've been studying parent-child relationships (particularly from a daughter's perspective) in the back of my mind. It's been hard for me not being home even though we don't live that far. I see how much my sister and I miss my mom and dad, how much my mom misses her mom, how a random stranger at the social security office in her 60's misses her mom and her father, other newlywed friends being homesick. I've come to the conclusion that this is a lifelong bittersweet gift that helps us treasure every moment we get to spend together. It can seem hectic and fly by too quickly when you see everyone around a holiday, but it's definitely worth it.

This week my parents drove out to OC with the dogs to check out condos with us. A few places have come up in prime locations having all that we're looking for, some a bit further than others. We're not sure if the timing is right, and boy is it scary, but we're getting closer to being homeowners. My aunt was feeling better after catching a really bad cold. But here's what she got to help my cousin Cindy nurture for a month:

Another reminder to look for the good in everything and carpe diem. God provides such beautiful and awesome sights.

Have a great new year everyone and we'll see you there! We love you!

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