Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy Holidays!

This may not be the Holy Family, but it's our holy family.

So this whole entire last week was spent up in Idaho, basking in the glory of my family that were there. It was good times indeed. The trip up was fantastic, though doing a whole 6-hour stretch in a car does a number on the legs. We spent a lot of our time feasting on some of the best food I've had in years, nay even my life. Just look at this glory of meat and spices!

It really doesn't get any better than that for you meat-lovers out there. Trust me. Christmas presents were good. Lovetta got me a sweet Argyle sweater and some hair clippers. I got her a new popcorn-maker (read: microwave). My sister, Tania, bequeathed us a cooking legacy in the form of an America's Test Kitchen cook book and an electronic copy of my Grandma's cook book. Happiness! I drank a ridiculous amount of egg nog (nog-o'clock, whut?) and played my brains out some games of Nerts. Ahh such good times!

Joy of Cooking, eat your heart out.

I gotta say that holiday times are the best times. Food. Family. Fun. I hope that all of you had a wonderful holiday break from whatever it is you're doing. Also, I hope that coming home from the holidays doesn't greet you with a bulldozer in front of your house (like it did for us!).

Monday, December 14, 2009

You'll shoot your eye out!

So, Lovetta and I just got done hosting the Papercuts Book Club at our place for the annual Christmas party. We shared a few Christmas picture books and watched A Christmas Story (as everyone should this time of year). How is that book club oriented, you ask? Well, it was based on a book! Any excuse to watch a funny movie...

Christmas time has always been an interesting time for me. Watching that movie has only really made me realize how much this time of year has evolved for me as I've gotten older. When I was a kid, I remember totally going through the same kinds of things that Ralphie did (drooling over particular presents and whatnot). That's kind of what the holiday seems to mean when you're a kid: an opportunity to get new toys. Oh yeah, and there's that baby Jesus thing, too.

The older I got, the more my focus seemed to swap. Holidays (birthdays included) stopped really being about presents. When I was on my mission, it was nice to get things for special occasions, but it never quite meant as much to me as knowing that loved ones remembered me. I could have cared less about what it was that I got. The things I wanted were less tangible.

Now, I see holidays more as time to spend around people I love. This makes it difficult for others. Some have asked me what I want for Christmas this year. Honestly, I still don't really know. What I'm most looking forward to is heading up to Idaho this year and spending time with some of my family. Moving out here to Utah kind of gave me a slight separation disorder and I crave being around them. Beyond seeing them, everything else is a bonus.

I'm trying to turn my attention now to the only things I can hopefully make last over the years. Memories. My childhood memories are splotchy at best (ask Lovetta how well I remember some of the Primary songs). I don't remember too many Christmas gifts from yonder days. But the memories I have now of spending time with family are what I seem to find more and more precious.

I just hope that everyone has the opportunity to really focus on what I think are the most important parts of Christmas. Service. Love. The birth of the Son of God. Family. Here's wishing you a fantastic holiday, free from stress and full of joy.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

New Camera, New Opportunities

We bought a new camera! (Nikon D3000) We planned to get one when we got our tax return, but we found a good Christmas deal and decided not to wait. Now we just have to figure out how to use it perfectly. :) Here's a picture of our camera, taken by our computer. Here are some pictures of us picking out a Christmas tree with my family.Here is one of my experiments with my new control of depth of field.Now that we've spent money on a nice camera, we are determined to continue this wonderful emerging habit of documenting our lives through photography. Christmas time is full of opportunity.