Monday, January 21, 2013

Chelsea's Birthday Weekend

I think this weekend was the longest single birthday celebration we've ever had. There wasn't anything special about the year number or anything like that. In fact, it wasn't planned as a whole weekend event. That's just how it ended up.

Originally Chelsea decided to celebrate on Saturday even though her actual birthday was Sunday. So we planned the day. Chelsea decided she wanted to make dinner at home rather than go out. We haven't had steaks in forever (actually, the last time we made steak at home was Valentines Day 2010 when I destroyed our back window) so we decided to go all out. Check these babies out!

Don't worry, the back window is safe.

Chelsea's friend also gave her some shrimp for her birthday so we sauteed that up with some onion and mushrooms. And we rounded it out with some green salad. Surf and turf at its finest.

While we got dinner ("dinner"- we ate at 3pm) ready we finished the last of our Lord of the Rings marathon we started last Monday when I was home sick. Chelsea also wanted a batch of delicious chocolate chip cookies. Most of the day was spent loafing. Good times.

The celebration continued on Sunday when we both had the privilege to wake up and go to a 7:15 am ward council meeting together. (Due to travel and tragedy, I'm all that's left of the young men's presidency for the time being.) After church, though, the day was pretty much like Saturday. Lots of loafing. It was one of those Sundays that precedes a Monday holiday. You can relax sure in the knowledge that your alarm won't be going off at 5:00 am the next day. Those days are marvelous.

Today was both productive and fun. We had dinner plans with Josh & Jana and Tony & Tiffany and I had only two chores I wanted to get done. One was to place those edging blocks I bought six months ago and the other was to finish the Washington State Engineering Law & Ethics exam that is required for my PE license application. The exam is done online and I have as much time as I want to finish it, before the deadline of course. I'm glad to say I got it all done. I passed the test and here's the proof of the yardwork:

It turned out just like I thought it would. I gotta figure out something better for that hose reel, though. I should have taken a before picture so you could see all the pitiful weeds and overgrown bed. Last year I tried growing grass there, but it was pretty tough ground. Instead I just decided I would use some of the leftover rock from the crawlspace project. Someday I'm going to take down that dish. I don't foresee us using it.

Time to start another week.

Friday, January 04, 2013

2012 Bites the Dust

Another Christmas down, another new year born.

The New Year's Eve celebration in our house was low key. In fact, if you hadn't had a calendar on you, you might have mistaken it for a standard Monday night. Except, I did go to bed much later than on a regular Monday. I only made it to 11pm. I think my excuse is pretty good, though. We had driven 14-1/2 hours. Those winter time roadies are tough on the car.

It's worth it, though. Spending the holidays in Utah is always nice. We split the time between Chelsea's parents and my parents. I really appreciate that neither family piles on a bunch of pressure to spend time there. It makes it much nicer when we do get the chance to be there.

It was also fun because Chelsea's sister was able to be around along with the nieces.

On Christmas morning we went to visit my Grandpa Cornwall. I hadn't seen him in a while, nor been over to his house. Places like Grandpa's house are always interesting to me, no matter how much they change, they're still that same place. I took some time while I was there to take some pictures around the house. I remember playing in the crawlspace, and the big dollhouse that used to live at the bottom of the stairs. It's also clear to me now that my affinity for old books (particularly old engineering books) is surely genetic.

Through the magic of the interwebs we were able to have a teleconference present-opening-session with the rest of our family that wasn't around this year. Byron and his family were at their home and the rest of us were at my parent's house. It was nice. It's funny to see how many presents this year were unwrapped in Amazon boxes.

On Christmas eve my family always puts a jigsaw puzzle together. Of course, a puzzle or two usually changes hands during the gift exchange also, so many times the ritual is completed repeatedly. This year someone (sorry, I forgot who) got Dad and set of eight (eh-igg-ht) puzzles. They varied in size from 100 pieces to 1000 pieces. Not surprising, the 100 piece puzzles were done in short order. Here was the Sunday before we left. We all descended on one of the 1000 piece puzzles. Good times.

But, as usual, it's good to be back home.......

For everyone.