I was hoping I would get off early like I did on Christmas Eve, but alas, today was a full day. Tyler, however, had the day off, and boy did he run himself ragged getting the house all set up for the festivities tonight. He cleaned, did dishes, loaded laundry, went shopping, and set up the Wii U. In the early evening we headed to a co-ed baby shower/New Year’s party for Charlie and Jordan in Lehi, but we didn't stay. We felt cool because they were really disappointed that we weren't sticking around, as they were confident that we would be the life of the party as long as we were there. What a compliment! We left after a little bit, though, because we had made plans with Nikki and Spencer for that night. We drove back up to our apartment, where Nikki and Spencer met us. We had just begun to play our new Wii U when they arrived. We had a fun night, playing Nintendo Land and our new Food Fight card game, eating lots of snacks and finger foods. We had the traditional bubbly (although we were having too much fun and missed the actual strike of midnight) and stayed up WAY too late. Nikki and Spencer brought their air mattress and set it up in our living room, so we watched Best In Show, even though everyone but me fell asleep. So long 2013; I look forward to all that 2014 has to offer and I hope I can progress a lot this next year, physically, creatively, spiritually, and mentally.



Tyler ran a billion errands today, one of them being our Christmas gift to ourselves. A couple of weeks ago I asked Tyler as we were falling asleep if he had even started Christmas shopping. He said no and I replied that I hadn't either. In an effort to simplify, we decided that we would just scratch getting gifts for each other from our busy agendas and revisit it when we weren't spread so thin. The closer we got to Christmas, and especially after receiving a Wii U game on Christmas day, we decided we would get a Wii U for our Christmas. Tyler scoured the valley for the best deal and the best package. I got home tonight and really wanted to set it up, but we decided to do it another day because it was quite late and would probably take a while.



Today we got up slightly earlier than usual in order to make it out to Kearns for Tyler's cousin Daphne’s missionary farewell. Oh my gosh, we were laughing so hard the whole time at everything. I think we had the sillies. Their program was so crazy, riddled with typos and crooked and weird all over the place. On the front was this hand-drawn sister missionary that literally looked like a thirteen-year-old had sketched it out. It was funny enough as it was, but it got downright hilarious when Jason drew a beard and tie on his copy, even going so far as to convert the Book of Mormon in her hand into a mustachioed head. Coupled with the crazy chorister, who I thought looked like she was casting a spell and Tyler thought looked like she was mending torn trousers, it was a funny funny sacrament meeting! There was a party afterwards at Russ and Colleen’s, of course, but we had to get back to nursery in our own ward. It was a bit of a shame, since all of the Lynch side was in town for once and Nana had even come up from Hurricane, but that's okay. We were so glad we headed back though; one of the other nursery leaders had texted us that morning and said she wasn't coming, so they really needed us, but it turned out being an easy day. I don’t know why all the kids were so calm or in such nice moods, but everyone smiled and shared and it was a real cinch.



This was a great day. In the morning we met up with Ali, Tyler's best friend from high school, because she was in town from California for the holidays with her boyfriend. Breakfast was had at the Blue Plate Diner in Sugarhouse; it was delicious, and it was crammed to the rafters in that place! We chatted and ate before they had to start the drive home. We ran a couple of errands on the way home to find a matching photo album to go with the wedding album I made for my mom; Aubrey's album had engagements and bridals and my mom wanted photos of mine too. While we were out, we hit about every mailbox in the valley to drop off our Christmas cards ten at a time. Tyler dropped me off at home before we could find a photo album at the two Targets by our house. He went to work and I searched the internet for an album nearby, finally finding one online at the Target in South Jordan, I sent the address to Tyler to swing by on his way home. Apparently this Target was way west and was some sort of crazy town. Since it took him so long, we decided over the phone he would pick up a lasagna so we could cook it quick once he was home. Apparently lasagna isn't so quick, even when you buy it pre-made—80 minutes?! Good thing Tyler got off at 6:00 tonight because we didn't actually end up eating until 9:00.



It was back to work for me today and I absolutely dreaded it. There was basically no one there today because everyone is using up their vacation days before the year is up. It was pretty slow going and even though I had just had a holiday, I was happy to come home to the weekend. Tyler spent all day putting together our Christmas cards: stuffing them, sticking them, and stamping them. Do you want to know something great? On Jazz home game days, McDonald's offers $1 McNuggets if you buy a drink (which is only a dollar)… can't beat that. Tyler had to work until 10:00, but I had him swing by McDonald's on the way home for a late night dinner for two under $5.



I felt like the absolute worst last night; I cannot shake this cough, and with all the family things, holidays, and events, I haven't had a chance to bounce back. Late last night I decided to not go to work today and just take an unpaid vacation day since my benefits and paid time off haven't kicked in yet. I slept way in today and we took it easy. In the late afternoon we went to the mall for some jewelry shopping (I know, completely uncharacteristic of me) because Shubach Jeweler's sends us gift card mailers after we bought my wedding ring there. I ended up picking this necklace made with citrine semi-precious stones and the price was nice and cheap. We headed over to the Duncanville after because it's my mom's birthday today! My dad had an amazing idea to have Aubrey and I put together photo albums of our wedding days to give to my mom, which I think she really enjoyed. After gifts we played Tripoli with Aubrey and Jordan because that is my mom's absolute favorite game. Happy birthday Mom, we love you.



What an amazing day spent with family and fun. First we went to Duncanville and got quite the haul, from some of our favorite cereals and treats to some new clothes, Catch Phrase, and a mini donut maker. We also got TONS of movies, including All Dogs Go To Heaven, The Aristocats, Meet the Robinsons, The Great Mouse Detective, and Madagascar. Some of our favorites, though, were the $100 in gift cards to Chili’s, Texas Roadhouse, Olive Garden, and Chipotle; we have done so well at avoiding eating out so that we could get back on track with our restaurant budget, but those gift cards mean that we can eat out more often! Tyler was also very excited that we got Lego Marvel Superheroes for Wii U, even though we don’t have a Wii U… yet… We stayed for a little bit and played with some presents, but then we had to pack up and head over to Lynchland for a Skype call with K-dogger! He looked healthy and happy and it did our heart good to see him! Everyone was excited to finally open presents (they’d been waiting for us all day), but I really wanted to have Sara trim and thin my hair while she was in town. I really didn't want to hold everyone up, but of course everybody agreed, with Matt flat out refusing to open any presents until my hair had been trimmed. Nicole did request that we at least open up our stockings before we left again, which seemed like a good plan! I got my hair trimmed and thinned while Tyler played some Smash Brothers with the nephews and brothers-in-law. As soon as Sara was done we headed back over to open Lynch presents. We walked in the door right as they were saying prayer for Christmas dinner, a delicious ham and funeral potatoes. YUM. After dinner, it was FINALLY time to open presents! We came away with another pretty good haul: the Christopher Guest movies (Best In Show, For Your Consideration, and A Mighty Wind), New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the 3DS, a big paper cutter, a new shirt and tie, and seriously like 30 or more new pairs of socks for me. We also got more Texas Roadhouse money, some cool cookie cutters, and Frogger on PC, a classic from Tyler's childhood. We barely got all the presents opened before the sun set! We stuck around and watched A Christmas Story while we played with all our new toys, and had homemade cheesecake later, which was SO delicious. It was such a great Christmas from start to finish.