Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Year in Review

I have never done a Christmas letter for our family before, but 2010 was so amazing for us that I wanted to document it all. If you follow our blog, this will all be old news, but hey, this is for posterity! Plus, then I can throw away last year's calendar. (If you manage to make it all the way to the end, you get a big prize!)

January- We started the year living in our rented house in Ogden. Greg was in school at Weber State. William turned 3 and he had a Cars birthday cake.

February- I did the flowers for a beautiful wedding. It was a lot of fun.

March- Isaac turned 1. We went to Wyoming to visit the Hollins. Isaac and Ayli, who share their birthday, had a little joint party.

April- Things started to get crazy. Greg and I knew we would like to move south after he graduated. We wanted to buy a house, but didn't think it would be possible for another year. We met with the a mortgage councilor at our credit union on the 1st just to see if there was any way we could get a house. Surprisingly, it looked feasible for us, but thing we going to be so busy coming up, and we felt we had to wait until after Greg's graduation to decide what we wanted to do. But the next week, almost on a whim, we decided to meet with a realtor and see if there was any possibility of finding a house. On the 10th we met with Clay and he claimed he could find us the perfect house by the end of the month. We were skeptical, but played along.

To add to the craziness, Tanza came into town on the 10th for a week to plan her wedding. There were lots of trips to Salt Lake over the next week looking for a wedding dress and planning her bridal shower, which I was throwing.

On the 16th, Greg presented his final project to the faculty at school and then we drove down to look at our first batch of houses. They were nice, but not right for us. Then next day was Tanza's shower, which we had to coordinate with our cousin's baby shower which was the same day.

The next week was full of Greg's finals and culminated with his long-awaited graduation on Friday, the 23rd. I was so proud of him and all his hard work. It was over 10 years since he first started college. He had worked full time through most of those years to support me and one, and then two kids, never taking his eye off the goal of getting his degree. He had put off many other dreams and hobbies and sacrificed every spare moment to homework and time on campus. He graduated with his bachelor's degree and a great job offer. He deserved it!

I think it was the next day, although I failed to document it, that we went house-hunting again and found the house we loved. I actually knew it was the place as soon as I saw a picture of it our realtor had emailed to us earlier in the week. Seeing the place in person only confirmed what I already knew. With that, we scheduled the inspection which was completed on April 30th. What a change 30 days can bring!

May- The month was filled with paperwork and endless phone calls. William heard me say our future address on the phone so many times he had it memorized before we ever moved in. After back-and-forth negotiations and rescheduling the closing date 3 times, we closed on the house on Friday, May 21st. Greg had to work that weekend, so we couldn't move right away. We loaded the U-Haul on the next Thursday evening and unloaded it at our new house on Friday.

June- The next weekend Tanza and her fiancé Mike arrived from Hawaii. We spend most of Saturday the 5th at the temple as she took out her endowments. On the 10th my cousin Andrea and her 2 boys came into town to stay with us for the wedding. The next day, Friday, we spent setting up for the reception, in my parent's backyard. I picked up the flowers from the wholesaler and got Tanza's bouquet made. Then there was the big family dinner that night, where Greg displayed his delicious barbeque skills.

The big wedding was on the 12th and it was wonderful! The weather had been lousy all week, and the forecast gave us no hope for improvement, but as soon as the lovebirds came out of the temple, the rain stopped. We all dashed to the house to get ready for the reception and the rain started up again, but about 1 hour before start time, away it went. The sun even came out! Greg and I chased the kids around trying to get them into their suits (poor William wanted nothing to do with it as he didn't feel well) and I set up the centerpieces and put the flowers on the cake. The whole thing came off without a hitch. The decorations were awesome (if I do say so myself), the food delicious and plentiful, the Hawaiian dancing was beautiful and everyone had fun dancing the rest of the night away with the DJ.

On the 24th we hauled about a dozen bags full of about a hundred diapers and bottles of sunscreen to the airport and jumped on a plane headed for Hawaii. We went to Molokai for Mike and Tanza's reception there, and then to Honolulu for a week at Turtle Bay Resort. Such a wonderful time... but that's a whole separate story. While there we also celebrated Greg's birthday and our anniversary.

July- We returned from Hawaii on the morning of the 4th after a red-eye flight. The kids slept on the plane, which was great, but then they were up all the next day. When were mom and dad supposed to sleep? I was in such a haze it took me about a week to realize I was still waiting for 4th of July festivities.

The rest of the month we were finally able to unpack and get settled in the house (remember, we moved?).

August- A visit to the county fair, dinners, play dates, temple visits, and other normal activities.

September- More of the same. My first girl's night out in years!

October- William and I started in a neighborhood preschool. We were able to see cousin Charlie sealed and blessed on the 9th and 10th. We had a Halloween party with Greg's parents and the Hollins. Will really got into the Trick-or-Treating and out-lasted all the other kids. He was a black spider and Isaac was a Dalmatian puppy. I sang in church with a small group on the 31st.

November- The month was pretty low-key. Thanksgiving as in Salem Hills with my Mom's side of the family. Very nice time.

December- Full of holiday celebrations. It was really fun to decorate our new own house for the season. The boys had fun attending a myriad of Christmas parties. On Christmas Eve I went shopping with my mom and Greg's mom at the Gateway Mall, as we have done every year for 6 years. Greg, William, Isaac, my dad, Greg's dad, my brother and his new girlfriend (!) joined us afterward for lunch at Tucano's, where we have eaten every Christmas Eve for the last 3 years.

That evening the boys got to open their pajamas and we watched Disney's A Christmas Carol. Christmas we stayed home and had lots of visitors and a big dinner for Greg's family. It was fun to host and have everyone here.

If you've made it this far, give me a call and I will cook you dinner. Wow.

It was such a wonderful year for us, full of fun times, great memories, and most importantly, new and old friends and dear family!