Wrapping up 2014! Christmas came and flew away, and with it a wonderful break. We spent our first weekend in Tennessee without snow, but with a Lumberjack show, lots of family time, and lots of walking up the hill. Parker always says to me, “you walked up this after school?” I did, but not always. We had one of my family’s favorite German meal: Sauerbraten, red cabbage, and potato dumplings. That was our “Christmas” dinner with my family this year. My mom has to marinate the meat for a week ahead of time. My Grandpa Charles used to make it for the family.
We exchanged presents afterwards. My favorite gifts this year were the car table that we made Fischer, complete with Dollywood, the UT football stadium, and my parent’s house, and the cookbook we made of my mom’s sweet recipes, Patty Cakes Bakery.
Flash-forward to the Utah Portion of Christmas!
To make my mother jealous, we definitely had a white Christmas! And the snow waited until Christmas morning to appear. Though it was freezing, Parker and I went for a walk in the snow because I wanted to try out my new shoes, literally be in the snow, and counteract my Christmas crimes which I will happily commit every year! The snow was beautiful, though I didn’t manage to work in a ski day, partly because the cold was a deterrent and partly because we had limited days. Parker’s mom and friend Colby said that the cold waited for us to get there. Apparently, this snow was the first of the year for Utah, and the temperatures hadn’t dropped that low yet either. It’s funny to think that the week before Christmas, I was running outside, and that once here, it was too cold to venture out. Waiting at a train change at tracks was really fun in the cold the other night.
The best thing about flying into Utah is looking through the lights for the Temple and the Capitol building from the air. The next thing is looking at the mountains towering over the valley, decked in white. That’s the view I miss; even if I don’t always brave the cold to be in them during the winter, the white peaks are majestic every time. Each time I woke up while here, I would open the blinds in the bathroom (sorry Karen) so that I could see them first thing while brushing my teeth! You can’t beat it.
The Harwood family Christmas party was wonderful thanks to Karen’s wonderful hosting. As her mother (Parker’s grandmother) said, “you’ve been busy.” She not only had little party presents for the family, as everyone brings, but she also had party favors, Hershey nuggets that were hand wrapped in Christmas prints like “manger, Mary, Jesus, Wise Men,” and so on. That was aside from the full table setting, lasagna, and decorations. I have already told Parker that when I host parties, I can probably manage the party favors, but I’m not sure if they’ll be handmade.
I should also mention that she hosted Garrett’s homecoming luncheon after church as well. She had a full house this Christmas.
Highlights from the Utah portion of our trip:
Center Court! It was weird looking up in the Marriott Center.
Movie nights, though I’m ready for some girl movies (Since Garrett just got home from his mission, he has to catch up on his movies. Fast 6, Captain America, Man of Steel, etc. We did watch The Monuments Mentoo though; nice history one for me.)
Pedicures with Tori. I’d get one every month if I could justify the money. It’s not about the polish either; it’s the massage that I pay for! No picture of the toes; even polished, nobody needs to see that!
Temple trip with Parker’s grandparents
Brothers & Bad Lighting
New Year’s Fondue: cheese and Kneader’s bread, chocolate with the best fruit array thanks to Adam and Crystal.
2014 was a good year to us! We loved our Christmas and holiday season this year. Though I’m grumpy that I have to go back to work tomorrow, I am grateful for my job and for the blessings we have.