Happy New Year! & The Utah Trip

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.

Lumberjack Show!
Lumberjack Show! Three Generations of strong willed Fischer women.
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Sauerbraten and Dumplings
Grandpa's German Dish!
Grandpa’s German Dish!

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.

Fischer's Car Table-Thank you IKEA for the table, good printers, paint pens, modge-podge, and Parker's precision in taping it up!
Fischer’s Car Table-Thank you IKEA for the table, good printers, paint pens, modge-podge, and Parker’s precision in taping it up!
(P.S. I can finally post the picture from Leconte, when I carried down a ton of water bottles for family Christmas presents; other hikers gave me such a hard time; they kept asking if I was a peddler.)
(P.S. I can finally post the picture from Leconte, when I carried down a ton of water bottles for family Christmas presents; other hikers gave me such a hard time; they kept asking if I was a peddler.)

Flash-forward to the Utah Portion of Christmas!

A sight for sore eyes.
A sight for sore eyes.

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. IMG_5267

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.

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Highlights from the Utah portion of our trip:

 

  • IMG_5262
    BYU basketball game with great seats thanks to Garrett’s mission friend who plays for BYU. Parker hadn’t seen his brother in two years; Garrett had been serving his mission in Detroit, Michigan.

    IMG_5260Center Court! It was weird looking up in the Marriott Center.

    IMG_5253
    Name this movie quote: “Tickets! Great tickets. Right in the action. You can smell the sweat!”
  • Parker got me a scarf from Etsy.  It has book pages from A Tale of Two Cities on it.  "It is a far better thing I do, than I have ever done."
    What follows Christmas Eve? Christmas morning! Parker got me a scarf from Etsy. It has book pages from A Tale of Two Cities on it. “It is a far better thing I do, than I have ever done.” (The picture from the Christmas Eve Party are above)
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    We went for a snowy walk because I of course had to be in the snow if he waited until Christmas morning to come! I needed to be in it, and Parker was a good sport.
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    Testing out my shoes. Pink and successful!
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    The River Walk

    Movie Night on Christmas! We went to Into the Woods, where Aimee's favorite was the creepy Johnny Depp as the Big Bad Wolf and Bailee's was one of the princes: "he's so cute!"
    Movie Night on Christmas! We went to Into the Woods, where Aimee’s favorite was the creepy Johnny Depp as the Big Bad Wolf and Bailee’s was one of the princes: “he’s so cute!”
  • XBox
    X Box=Serious Business

    Gym time on the 26th!
    Gym time on the 26th!
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    Trips to Cafe Rio!
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    Lunch with Karin, my mission companion! I enjoyed talking with her so much that I forgot to take a picture with her! Swept away in words.

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    Date night with Frank and Michelle the night before their son Zach got home from his mission!
  • unnamed
  • 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 Men too though; nice history one for me.)
  • IMG_5346
    Tori arranged formal family pictures at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake with Parker’s grandparents and extended family.

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    Golfing with his grandfather’s walking stick.
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    Three siblings again thanks to Garrett’s return!

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  • 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!
  • IMG_5391
    My nephew Zach got home from his mission in the Philippines!  I had never been at the airport for a missionary homecoming.  He had been gone for two years and his family melted as soon as they saw him.  Tears of joy and tons of “I’m so proud of you!” He looked so good! The same but different.  The internal changes and growth emanated from him, even though I only got to see him for about 30 minutes; he hadn’t slept for 26 hours either.  It made me think of my mission and how much I learned and grew while serving in Argentina.
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    Coopdog

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  • IMG_5400
    Happy, Proud Parents.
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    Tracks-on the way to the next adventure!
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    Spain reunion! Who says you can’t have a blast in an hour? It was kind of a miracle too because we didn’t have access to a car, using the tracks system to get there after being at the airport for Zach’s homecoming, Allison and Dave had to leave at 8:00 for their flight, so they were heading to the airport afterwards, Tyler came from a family Christmas party, and Kristina had just flown in that day.  Parker and I literally ran to catch our train home and just barely made it.  We were only together for a little over an hour, but it really felt so natural, like no time had passed.  I had a hard time walking away from that quick meet and greet; it was so fun! Can’t wait for 2025!

    Dave and Parker being sports during the Spain/friendship nostalgia.
    Dave and Parker being sports during the Spain/friendship nostalgia.
  • Temple trip with Parker’s grandparents
  • IMG_5410IMG_5411Brothers & Bad Lighting

    I bought a new cardigan from Uptown Cheapskates, and when I got home, look what Karen was wearing!
    I bought a new cardigan from Uptown Cheapskates, and when I got home, look what Karen was wearing!
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    New Year’s Eve date/friend party.  Even though I called ahead to two restaurants, the wait at Longhorn was supposedly 55 minutes and Texas Roadhouse said we probably couldn’t be sat at the same table.  So… we ended up at Buffalo Wild Wings.  No steak, but plenty of sports.  Crystal and I were thrilled.  Since the service was probably the worst I’ve ever had (and I’m not picky), it’s a good thing there were games on because our boys would have been grumpy campers otherwise. (Bad lighting, but it’s the best we’ve got.)
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    The girls! Pleasant as can be!
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    “Look! They’re even looking up sports on their phones…” -Crystal

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    “We should have sat on that side of the table.” -Me
  • Emily and I!
    Emily and I!


    IMG_5437New Year’s Fondue: cheese and Kneader’s bread, chocolate with the best fruit array thanks to Adam and Crystal.IMG_5441 IMG_5448

  • IMG_5414

    IMG_5449
    Flight delay.  Normally, this wouldn’t be a happy thing, but it gave us thirty minutes to hang out while waiting for my flight.

 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.  

So it's back to the palm trees.
So it’s back to the palm trees.  2015, what will you bring?

 

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