Saturday, January 28, 2012

Fake MLK Jr Day

Dan works at a startup company. They had a pressing deadline, so Dan had to work on Martin Luther King Day. But they said they would make it up to him. He would get the next Monday off.

So, this past Monday we packed a picnic. The kids "helped" me put the sandwiches and apples and chips and water into a big basket. Asher was very excited.
The day was overcast, my favorite. We drove over to Discovery Park.

We spread out a blanket in the middle of a huge field of yellowing grass. We were practically the only people there. Asher passed out the food like the baggies were Christmas gifts. We ate, and then walked over to a little hill. Dan had thrown some cardboard in the back of the car, so the kids would have make-shift sleds. They both had the time of their lives sliding down the hill, until a security guard drove over in a little cart and kindly informed us that our fun times were against the rules. Ah, well.
After that, we went over to the duck pond. We had a few crumbs to throw into the water. Gwen couldn't throw far, but she sure wanted to try. These ducks weren't as trusting as, say, the ducks at Los Carneros Lake in Goleta... but there were some brave ones that came close enough for a snack. We left when Asher started complaining about the smell. For some reason there were dead fish everywhere.

Today is Saturday. To digress from this story, but say something pertinent about "the now" as Edna from The Incredibles calls it, I participated for the second time in our neighborhood co-op. I paid my $17 and got a box filled with fresh kiwi, pineapple, apples, clementines, red potatoes, broccoli, blueberries, strawberries, lettuce, asparagus, tomatoes, carrots, and green beans. Last time I drove with the leaders of the group down to the warehouse. It was really interesting and fun. This week there weren't as many participants, so they didn't need me. I just got to show up at the park and pick up my box. I guess that was good for today, because I am sick and so are Gwen and Dan, but hopefully next time I can drive because that means I get my box for free.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Go bags

This past Christmas the theme for BOTH sides of the family was provident living/preparedness. The year before both themes were "homemade Christmas." I don't know how we get on the same page like that. Anyway, we got Heather and Jeff gift certificates and sewing supplies. But for my sister and her family, I made some "go bags." They are supposed to be filled with supplies and important documents, etc. that you can just grab and take with you quickly in case of an emergency. I made one for each member of the Wrenn family... but there is another boy on the way, so I'm going to have to get busy with another bag!

I chose bright colors and sturdy fabrics. I followed a tutorial I found online here.
These were incredibly fun to make. It was a satisfying project. I usually hate installing zippers, but this was actually kind of fun. I have left over fabric... I totally want to make more for us.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Super Post-Christmas Post

Christmas happened last month, in case you hadn't heard. I'll give my blog the highlights... you know, for posterity. Or for two years from now, when I can't remember what the heck I did.

First of all, we put our Christmas decorations up early, which for us means before December 20th. But seriously, it was right after Thanksgiving this year. Yay team Hixon!

I tried to start a tradition for us when we got married. I wanted to add a special ornament to our stash each Christmas- something that would represent the year. Dan doesn't care about this idea. So, I feel kind of lame every time I try to obtain a new ornament. It is like buying myself nice jewelry: it just feels wrong. I haven't been consistant. We don't even have one for the year Gwen was born.

Above is a shot of an ornament Dan and I bought in Vegas in 2008. Also pictured is a little something Sue Brown (Mom's friend) made me in 1985.

And this is one of my special ornaments that broke this year. Asher blames Gwen. I wasn't in the room at the time. It was a gift from Suzie Couch. She gave it to me after we wrapped the first play I ever did at the Circle Bar B in 2004. I'm thinking that next year I will just have a "destroy my special ornaments" party and call that tradition a failure.

Well, all except the ornament below. I think it works nicely as a star for my nativity. Plus, it was a gift from a wonderful student of mine when I taught Junior High.
During the month of December we also went to a few parties.
-Our church party was Grinch/Whoville themed. It was awesome! And they had a hair contest, so there were a lot of wholicious hairstyles walking around. They even had an actual Grinch! Asher was quite scared of him.
-The white elephant gift exchange/game night at the Stewarts. It was a blast!
-RS progressive dinner... just for the ladies. I set a table with my china.
-White Elephant/game night party at Amy's house. There were a ton of people there, so the game of Telestrations we played was hilarious and off the hook.
-I sang (and accompanied myself on piano) at a young single adult party. I performed Silent Night. I was disappointed with my performance, but it wasn't terrible.

Another thing that occurred in December was a fun little visit right before Christmas. My sister-in-law Heather came into town to hang out with me for a couple days. She also wanted to learn how to sew. And no offense to anyone else I have taught, but she was my best student ever. She picked things up really quickly, and was motivated, direct, and self-sufficient. And she is super fun to talk to and be with. We are kindred spirits in a few ways.

Christmas came on a Sunday this year, which was really nice. Because before opening gifts, we got to go to church. That is how it should be done every year. Anyway, we were pretty low key on the gifts this year. We tried to keep to the old "Something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read" theme. I think it is a fantastic plan. We might try it every year. The kids loved their presents from Santa, which were pirates and Blackbeard's ship for Asher and a "dancer mouse" for Gwen (Angelina Ballerina). And they were really excited that the reindeer ate the special food we left for them on the curb on Christmas Eve.

The day after Christmas we drove to Utah to stay with my parents for about a week. I felt like I hadn't seen my family in a long time, so it was really nice. It would have been even better if the Wrenns and my brother and his wife were there, but that was not to be. As it was, we had a super fun time with my parents, my Grandma (who is living with my parents until she can buy a house there), the Bourgeouses and my sister Tracy. We played some fun games and talked and enjoyed each other.
Here is a shot of the sisters. I'm wearing a blanket.
My Grandma treated Tracy and I to lunch and a pedicure one day. I just love my Grandma. Another day my mom and Kristy and Tracy and I went shopping at a cool discount decorator's fabric store. We went a few other crafty places as well.
There is something about Utah that is just enchanting. Dan thinks so too. We don't think we want to really live there still, but it is so fun to visit. Provo, Springville, and Mapleton are fun and quaint and pretty in the wintertime. We love all the old buildings and the nice people.

I didn't really get Dan anything for Christmas, so we went gun shopping while we were in Utah. He didn't actually end up buying a gun at this store, but I had to take a picture because that Elk was threatening to come back to life the entire time we were there.
Dan bought a gun when he went up North for a day to "work" with his friend and colleague Ron Adair. They probably worked a little bit, but they also drove around and shot stuff.

One night Dan and I left the kids at my parent's house and Dan and I went out for a date. Tracy recommended a fun place to eat at Riverwoods called La Jolla Groves. I loved that they didn't serve alcohol and it was still posh and classy. This is a shot of the inside. (We would have frozen outside.) If you looked up, the branches of the fake lemon trees showed a fake night sky with fake stars shining. I actually thought it looked very magical, even though I'm using the word "fake" over and over again. It was the good kind of fake. Plus the food was all good for you organic type stuff and it tasted AMAZING. Even Dan liked it.
PS "Riverwood" was a little shopping center, and it was covered with lights. While walking around there, we ran into some friends of ours from Santa Barbara, the Amundsens. That was random and very fun. Rachel is pregnant with number 4, and she was carrying around her own barf bucket.
After that, we drove to a movie theater to see Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. It was pretty good. And we hadn't been on a date in so long, it felt like our anniversary. And it almost was, so I guess that counts. Anyway, even though it was just dinner and a movie, it felt like more because we were in a new place having fun experiences.

One last thing. Kristy, my mom, my kids and I all went for a little walk just five minutes from my mom's house. It is where she goes walking when the weather is nicer. It is amazing how the ground can be dry at my mom's house and snowy at the trail.
The kids had a fun time in the snow. We saw LOTS of cougar tracks. We threw some snowballs into a stream. Gwen had a smile on her face the whole time. Asher got cold near the end, and needed me to carry him.

So that was December. There was so much going on I didn't have time to blog. But now we are back in the swing of things... hooray!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Yesterday was our tenth wedding anniversary.
Dan and I have been married TEN years.
It doesn't seem like it has been that many years.
And yet, sometimes it seems like it has been longer.

We don't just love each other. We like each other.
We enjoy talking to each other.
We like doing things together. We like hanging out.

Last night we went to the temple, and then we got In n Out.
Not exactly a big way to celebrate, but that is how we roll. Some years we go all out, some years we don't.
I feel like we already celebrated in Utah anyway. More on that later.

Dan is the best. He appreciates me for who I am. He laughs with me, loves me, and does the dishes. He is a fantastic father and a good role model. He supports me in my interests and believes in me. He is smart, crazy talented at many things, and he can live with me when I am at my worst. I love him. He loves me.
I am one lucky girl.