Jeff and I had a great time with his parents - such a great time that I completely forgot to take pictures while they were here. All I have is ONE picture from all the Thanksgiving fun. But everything turned out great - Jeff did a great job on the turkey. It was delicious. I loved having the pork roast with grandpa's special sauce. It didn't taste exactly like his, but it was pretty good. We had a lot of fun hanging out with the Rains family. We did a little shopping on Friday, and then on Saturday we went up to SLC to the Family History center. They have a ton of geneology work done, and wanted to get some more information on some relatives.
As soon as we got home from taking Jeff's parents to the airport, I started putting up Christmas decorations. Whenever a girl in the Hollingsworth family gets married, a Christmas shower is thrown for her. So, I had TONS of Christmas decorations for our first Christmas together. I had so much fun decorating. I think Jeff even got into it a little. He thought it would be funny to put all the decorations in one spot on the tree. Yea . . . that didn't last long!
Thanks Grannie Frances for the beautiful wall hanging. My mom sent these trees to me a couple of years ago. I got some really pretty gold ones at my Christmas shower, but they wouldn't fit in the box when my mom shipped my decorations to me. I think they are making an appearance with her decorations this year. :) I can't wait to get them here.
I love Thanksgiving! I was always lucky enough to attend the Hollingsworth family Thanksgiving feast at my Grandpa LK's house. That was one of my favorite days of the year. The food was amazing and spending time with Hollingsworths is always a party. I'm a little nervous about this year's Thanksgiving because . . . get excited . . . I'm cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Yikes! Jeff and I are excited to have his parents come down for a few days to celebrate with us. Here's what I have on the menu:
Turkey and Stuffing Pulled Pork (Anyone in the Hollingsworth family will understand why I want pork on Thanksgiving!) Green Beans -Southern style of course Mashed Potatoes Cookie Salad - I don't know what this is really called. It's something Jeff's family has a lot, and it's delicious Sweet potato casserole Rolls Apple Pie Some kind of chocolate dessert - any ideas??
I haven't posted in a really long time, mostly because I have been so terrible about taking pictures of things we have been doing. We have been trying our best to enjoy the beautiful fall weather we are having. It's hard to believe that it will be snowing soon :( . Here are some things I have taken pictures of lately.
One of our favorite things to do is go for a drive and "discover" new things. We came across a small lake in a canyon near Springville.
We also took a little trip to the zoo. So fun! I love the zoo. Jeff would prefer to see the animals in their natural habitat. I'm content seeing them behind a fence so they can't get to me! One of the main attractions at the zoo that weekend was a baby elephant. She was adorable. I noticed that we were the only ones at the zoo without little kids. Oh well . . . we had fun!
When I was looking through my pictures, I realized I haven't posted anything from our trip to NC. That was an awesome trip. I wrote about it in an earlier post so I'll just put up a few pics.
And one last random thing: I was feeling crafty one Saturday and decided to make a fall wreath. Yea . . for those of you who know me really well, you know I am not a crafty person. It runs in my family, but that gene definitely skipped over me unfortunately. Here is my first attempt at a wreath. It's looking kinda rough - I made it 2 months ago, so it looked a little better and brighter when I first made it. So anyway, this post was very random. But these are a few of the things we have been up to. Now we are just looking forward to having Jeff's parents here for Thanksgiving. I have never cooked a Thanksgiving meal by myself, so I'm a little nervous but excited! I made my menu tonight. If nothing burns, it should be a good meal!
While walking around the grocery store this afternoon, Jeff and I were having a random conversation about how much hair we had when we were babies. I said, " I didn't have a sprig of hair on my head." Jeff had no idea what a sprig is! Did I make that word up? This scenario happens very often because I always use words and phrases from NC that he has never heard before like "He didn't have a STITCH of . . " or "I look a SIGHT today." So I'm just wondering if sprig is one of those words that most people don't use or if it's just one Jeff has never heard before.
Jeff and I just got back from our awesome trip to NC. We were able to spend a lot of time with my parents and other friends/family. We also had the chance to attend Jessica and Adam's wedding. Congrats guys! I left my camera in NC so it might be a little while before I post the pictures of our trip. We had so much fun and didn't really want to come back. Thanks everyone for showing us a good time. We love you!
On Friday, Jeff and I decided to go camping at our favorite camping spot, Joe's Valley Reservoir. We had a blast! We both love camping, but we haven't been able to go this summer because of all the rain. But the weather has finally cleared up, so we are hoping we can go a few more times before I have to go back to school (which is ONLY 5 weeks away. . .). Enjoy the pics!
We went hiking on Saturday, which was really fun. But I am SO afraid of snakes. I think I have a snake phobia. I can't even look at pictures of them. Just thinking about them is making my skin crawl! Before we left to go camping, we saw a story on the news about how there have been a ton of rattlesnake sightings this summer. So of course all I can think about on our hike is what I'm going to do if I see a rattlesnake. My plan was to run as fast as I can until I got back to our car. Luckily, there were no rattlesnake sightings on our hike. We had a great view of the reservoir when we were sitting at the top of the mountain. We also did a little cliff-jumping. The jump wasn't nearly as high as it was last year (all the rain made the water really high), but I was still really afraid to jump at first. It was really fun once I got the courage to jump in. Luckily, the first couple of times we went jumping, there were people waiting behind us so I felt a little more pressure to just jump in. Here's a video of me jumping. I didn't realize Jeff was videoing me working up the courage to jump . . .
Here are a few more random pictures: Jeff chopping wood and us playing cards during one of the storms.
I promised myself I would go to the gym at least 3 days this week. I don't want to go on Saturday, and it's already Tuesday so I really need to go tonight. A really fun Pilates class starts in less than an hour. But it would take less than an hour to bake the chocolate chip cookies I have been craving all day. What will it be . . . cookies or pilates?!
It's been a while since I have written so there is a lot to catch up on. Here we go. My brother Matthew, who is stationed in Everett, Washington came to visit in May. It was so great to see him. While he was here we climbed a waterfall, shot guns, and went to see the not so Great Salt Lake. We went shooting with Jeff's sister and brother-in-law: Tina and Jason. Here's the boys setting up the targets.
Matthew shooting. We didn't have guns that even compared to the ones Matt has on his ship, but I think he had a good time.
This is a video of me shooting. The boys told me a million times that the gun wouldn't kick that much. (My biggest fear was that I would shoot the gun, then drop it on the ground or something.) I'm pretty sure they just told me that so I would shoot it!
Jeff and I took Matthew to hike Bridal Veil Falls. It was absolutely beautiful!
Me and Matt at the top of the waterfall.
Of course Jeff had to get right in the middle of the action!
A few weeks ago, Jeff and I went to the Taylor Swift concert. It was AWESOME! We had a great time. Our seats were almost at the very top, but we were still rocking out. She put on a great show. This is when she came out in the crowd! We were still really far away from her, but at least we could look at her instead of trying to see her on the big screen!
Us waiting for the show. You can tell which one of us was the most excited to see T-Quick! You can kinda see the sweet necklace Matt brought me from . . . Honduras?? Shoot. . .I already forgot.
The lovely cake you see below is my first attempt at a two layer cake. I'm an ok cook - Jeff and I cook dinner almost every night. It's a lot of hamburger helper and different kinds of pasta with chicken, but I would say we eat pretty good. However, I have never really gotten into baking. But since I got out of school last week, I have had this weird desire to bake. So, today I decided I would bake a cake. It ain't pretty, but it sure tasted good! It made me think how amazing all those relatives of mine are that can make those delicious 16 layer cakes. How do y'all do it?! I will take any advice anyone has about how to keep the side of the cake from falling off!
I don't write much about my job on here, mostly because of confidentiality. But I have to share something that happened today. If it's not my favorite moment since I started teaching, it's a very close second. One of my students read his first book today! He has a REALLY hard time focusing sometimes, but he has worked very hard this year learning sight words on note cards. Today I pulled out a book to see if he could transfer his knowledge from note cards to an actual book. It was amazing!! I took a video of him reading and showed it to him. He got the biggest kick out of it! I'm pretty sure his mom is the only person who was more excited than I was. Sorry everyone, I have the best job ever. :)
Although the weather wasn't great, we had a fabulous weekend! Jeff picked me up from work on Friday and we drove to Thanksgiving Point for the annual Tulip Festival. I'm sure it wouldn't have been Jeff's #1 choice for things to do on a Friday night, but he was a really good sport.
(Excuse my homely appearance in the pictures. I went straight from work, where we were having casual Friday.) At the end of the trail, we noticed the entertainment for the evening was a local dance company. They had one little group of 4 and 5 year olds. They were adorable! It brought back a lot of memories of dance recitals back in the day. It got me really excited to start dancing again, so I'm currently looking for a dance studio in the Provo area for adults who aren't that great at dancing!
On Saturday, Jeff and I participated in Utah's Walk For Autism. It was amazing to see how many people (including tons of kids) turned out when it was pouring down rain. My job can be stressful sometimes, but I was reminded on Saturday how much I LOVE working with students with Autism. Just like in any class, each of my students have different strengths. There is NEVER a dull moment, and it is a great experience to see them acquire a skill that they have worked so hard to acquire. It was also really fun to see all the family members and friends who show so much love and support. It made me want to do my job better.
Jeff and I walking for the GIANT STEPS Preschool team.
This is one of my cute students! (I got permission from his mom to put this up)
The T-shirt we got for raising at least $100. Thanks family!
For more information about Autism, visit www.autismspeaks.org
We have spent the last couple of days hanging out with Jeff's mom, sister, and brother-in-law. His sister, Tina, graduated from BYU yesterday. Jeff and I were able to attend the general graduation (for all the students) on Thursday. Pres. Uchtdorf and Elder Nelson both gave great talks with encouraging words for such a scary economical time. Later that night, we all went to a really fun restaurant in Sandy called the Mayan They have a huge waterfall, where some divers put on a great show! We had great seats, so every time one of them took a dive it felt like they were going to land on us. Last night, we went over to Tina and Jason's house and had pizza and played a game Jeff's brother John gave us for Christmas. It's called the Redneck Life; you go around the game board losing money . . . and teeth. Whoever has the most teeth at the end wins! It was a lot of fun. It was really great to see everyone. Congratulations, Tina
The last couple of weeks have been a lot of fun. I finally got out of the snow on my Spring Break and headed to Las Vegas with Jeff and my old roommate Ashley. We hung out with Jeff's friend Kyle, who was there for a work convention. It was great to be in the warm sunshine for a few days. I did a terrible job of taking pictures so I'll give a quick run-down of some of the things we did. We got there Thursday night and just walked around the NY NY hotel. There was tons to see there, including the Coyote Ugly club. It wasn't as cool as it looks in the movie, but it was still really fun to check it out! The next day, Ashley and I walked around all the shops (which all had tons of really pretty stuff that we definitely couldn't afford) in Caesar's Palace, then we met Jeff and Kyle at the pool in the NY NY. Laying in the sun was my favorite part of the trip. It got me really excited for summer. We all ate some dinner at the ESPN zone - a restaurant that has a huge plasma TV showing a sports game everywhere you look. Ashley and I spent most of our last day in Vegas shopping at the outlets. I came home with 2 new shirts and 4 new pairs of shoes. I never realized how much I love shoes - especially sandals. It was a great trip. We realized we didn't have any pictures of Jeff and me on our way out of Vegas, so the one below is of us in the car on our way home. Sorry I don't have more pictures to share!
This week I am on my SPRING Break, and it is wonderful! Monday was absolutely beautiful, sunny and 70 degrees. Yesterday it was raining all day on and off. This morning when I woke up it was SNOWING! (You can tell in the picture how excited I was to see the snow) How can it be snowing during spring break?! It feels like winter is never going to end. But tomorrow we are heading to sunny Las Vegas for a few days, so hopefully I come back with a true Spring Break tan!
Since I created this blog, I've gotten really into reading my friends' blogs. And I have noticed that everyone's blogs are centered. Their text and pictures run right down the middle of the page. How do you do that? Help? Anyone?
I finally put up pictures of the cruise. We had a blast! We left from Miami and headed to Key West, Florida. I couldn't believe how cold it was there. 60 degrees in January. Rough. :) After Key West we went to beautiful Cozumel, Mexico. That was by far our favorite place. We got off the ship, and our tour guide took us to our snorkeling location. The locals were complaining the the water was way colder than usual, but it felt like bath water to us! Snorkeling was amazing. After that, they took us to get our beach buggy. We drove down a path by the beach. The beaches there are beautiful. They took us to the Crocodile Zone, which was a little scary. The crocodiles were so close! Next, we headed to a local Mexican restaurant on the beach. It was absolutely gorgeous. We wanted to stay there for the rest of the trip. We left that night to head back to Miami. Once back in Florida, we had a long time before our plane left so we took a tour down to the Everglades, where we took a fan boat around looking for alligators. Our trip was amazing. I can't wait to take another cruise!