Sunday, December 25, 2011

Unto us a Son is given.

Christmas confession: I was too exhausted to blog yesterday, & so I made the decision to blog today.
Quality over quantity.
Anyway, I hope where ever you are reading this,
in your little corner of the world, you're having a Merry Christmas!
(**Disclaimer: due to technological difficulties, quality & quantity pictures will have to wait until my Mom loads her whopping memory card onto the home computer. Carry on...)
Christmas 2011 @ the Palmers has been a wild hit & complete success.
Yesterday, we had our annual Christmas Eve party with the Culps.
I love them.
We had so much fun. We partied until practically midnight.
How lucky am I to have such a fun family?
Christmas morning usually begins @ 8 am MST--right on the dot.
This year we still had car/Disneyland lag so we slept in until a whopping 8:37.
We opened gifts & ate a delicious breakfast before some spiritual enlightenment via the GC6th ward.
Owl hats. The perfect Christmas gift for anyone age 1-92.
I love Christmas time.
There isn't one thing I don't love.
From the lights, tree, music, happiness & a reminder of who & what is most important.
I mostly love giving & focusing on my Savior Jesus Christ.
In the 1st presidency Devotional earlier this month, President Monson mentioned his love of the story "The Mansion" by Henry Van Dyke.
A quote that touched me from the book that I think sums up what's most important is as follows:
(asked by the main character John Weightman) "What is it that counts here?"
(came the reply) "Only that which is truly given. Only that good which is done for the love of doing it. Only those plans in which the welfare of others is the master thought. Only those labors in which the sacrifice is greater than the reward. Only those gifts in which the giver forgets himself."

Merry Christmas. I love my Savior. I'm grateful to know him. I hope to be better in following him & forgetting my selfish ways & sacrificing to those who come into my circle.
That's truly what CHRISTmas is about.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The traffic is terrific

It's 3:44 MST. The rest of this is going to be fun. Happy holidays.

Oh the weather outside is frightful

While the word "frightful" may be a tad exaggeration to describe today's forecast, it certainly wasn't the pleasant 60 degrees we have become accustomed to in sunny So-Cal.

It was windy, so naturally we ate all of our cares away with delicious Disney treats like cinnamon rolls, waffle ice cream cones & funnel cake.

Can you tell I am so not ready for this trip to be over?!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tiny Tots with Their Eyes All A-Glow

The reason Disneyland has been dubbed "The Happiest Place on Earth" must be accredited to the magic that occurs on every ride, within every overpriced churro, & all of the one-of-a-kind entertainment.

Today we took a sit on Main Street, USA (much to Dad's bottom's dismay) & witnessed the magic of a holiday parade- featuring all the princesses, classic Disney characters & Mr. & Mrs. Claus straight off the North Pole sleigh.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Let Your Heart Be Light

Day one @ Disneyland began rather unsettling.. Literally. After using our magic morning privileges & power walking on over to the ever popular space mountain, it would seem Rachel (& I quote) "forgot to breathe" & later threw up all over Disneylands main street. Classy.

But after Rachel brought shame to the tidy sidewalks all was well once more! We have had a delightful day as a family!

Some picture highlights: (more stories & explanations to come once I am blogging on a PC & not the iPhone)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Blue Christmas

Who would've thought we would be at the beach in December?
-not this girl.
But we happen to be in sunny southern California where dreams are constructed & made a reality!
While it was a tad chilly & windy 60 degrees we threw on our jackets & flip flops to enjoy the salty sea & soft sand.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Carol of the Bells

Our first day in California has been a wild, romping time!
9 am brought with it church. Sacrament meeting was good & we left on that note. (the church is true.. Maybe a little truer when you can play hooky..? Inappropriate. You're right. Forget I said that part. Church was good.)
Upon our arrival home, Grandma had a large scavenger hunt prepared complete with scriptural references & anagram clues. We scored loads of treats for all!
I'm grateful for this sabbath day to spend with my family & grandparents.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Over the fields we go, laughing all the way

After months of waiting, we are California bound!

Friday, December 16, 2011

No place like home for the holidays

My #1 girl, best friend & person that I hope to grow up to be Heather Farr opened her mission call today!

We Facetimed so it was like I was there! She has been called to the Argentina Salta Mission!!! She reports in April.

I have never loved or admired any one more than her. She will be one rock em sock em missionary!

I'm grateful for her & her daily example to me. Argentina is a lucky country to have her!

Children laughing, people passing

So yes it's me. I'm embarrassed. I messed up. Went ahead & forwent the whole blogging thing yesterday. But I'm here now-- & that's what's important, right? We leave for California in T-13 hours & we are all so excited! Pinch me so I can see if it's real. Oh it is!

Our car ride is one dedicated to the Christmas season. Just check out our tunes & entertainment.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Oh Come All Ye Faithful

Mission Complete.
Today's installment of the dreaded testing featured a grade of 98%
I was ecstatic.

Now next mission to pack for a jam-packed-week-long-no-work-party-hardy of a trip.

...I'm joyful & triumphant.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

We Frolic & Play the Eskimo Way

Amidst finals hour,
I've had time for some fun too.
 Meet Caitlin.
We are one in the same.
She invited me to come frolic to her homeland 1.5 hours north of mine this weekend & I readily accepted.
 We even stopped into Urban @ Gateway & purchased these $15 steals.
Robbed the place, yes we did.
The sock bun is the sort of hairdo that must be shared.
It's a sensation that has the possibility to grip an entire nation

 & Miss Aubrie (Brie) is home from China & back to the mothership.
We dressed up in our ridiculous yet classy holiday attire & showed up not 1 but 2 hours late to a Christmas party.
(I'm a sucker for those...)---->links of previous people surprise examples
Nothing says Merry Christmas & screams love like surprising Jennifer soon-to-be-wed Russell/Richards.
Now, enough fun banter.
Back to piles of flashcards & mind cramming I go.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Fire is So Delightful

& so are the cookies!
What would Christmas time be without sugar cookies, truckloads of flamboyant frosting & sprinkles to tickle your fancy & satisfy every whim?

Christmas is in T-14 days.
I really can't believe it.
I think my disbelief can be accredited to our lack of snow here in the 84062.
But Mother Nature will surely come through & nurture us eventually.
For now, I will eat loads of calories & consume loads of snowmen, holly & berries, trees, angels & even a house or 2.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

They'll Be Parties for Hosting

Someone in the Palmer household is out of control.
Not in a bad way.
But outrageously out of control nonetheless.
There's evidence all over.
Rather than tell you, let me take you around the house to show you what I'm talking about.
Go ahead & take a guess as to who the culprit of all this is:
card making central

soon to be personal ornaments

beginning of party-hard sweatshirts

beginnings of a wreath
snowball candle holders
Christmas cookies for a party
Meet my Mom, Shell. 
The 8 Christmas craft hit wonder.
Our house is in a splendid uproar of red, white, & green crafts.
Need some neighborhood gifting ideas?
Chances are my Mom has all your crafting needs... & then some.
Every corner of our house is swimming in melted candy canes, but we don't mind.
We're embracing the fact my Mom takes on a project to fill every nook & cranny of the house.

Presents Round the Tree

How many of you have found all your perfect gifting needs?
I'll be the first to raise my hand or glass & say I haven't.
But that's not to say I'm not trying... Even though I detest shopping.
The Riverwoods mall in Provo is such a pretty place to shop, all lit up with bright LED lights.
If only I could exclaim I finished all my shopping tonight. While that isn't the case, I did enjoy the splendor of the shops & cozy fireplaces outside.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Dreaming of a White Christmas

Here are some words & imagery of things I'm hoping to accomplish this holiday season:

(x=complete/being completed, empty=about to get on pathway to completion)
[x]Christmas music is the only music allowed in the confines of The FIT
[x] Don't overlook simple displays of Christmas splendor
[] get Big S to cook me breakfast in his track cross country outfit
[x] wear Christmas earrings to work daily (mixing subtle & flashy)
[x] do anonymous service
minus the cap & gown
[] see my Grandpa & Grandma Gooch
[]give anonymous giftings
[x]wear my driving retainer
(back story: recently, my Mom told me she thought my teeth were one that has gone down the paths of orthodontics wants to go back. They're a little snug so I'm breaking them in on my daily drives to Provo. Crossing my fingers it will eventually go back to being my sleeping retainer.xx)
[x] love more + increase patience
[]be a finals finisher
[]wear Christmas attire whenever able
[x] hang a stocking from the highest bough
[x] Get to know the Savior better by reading the 4 gospels by December 25th: 
Matthew, Mark, Luke & John
 [] attend a Christmas party in Kwanza attire
[x] Win something sweet
[]become bilingual by learning this song. Maybe I will impress the prophet when I turn in my papers with this skill?? (when practiced with my retainer in, it sounds really good)
[x] practice appropriate re-gifting
[x] see "A Christmas Carol"
[]talk to the head elf himself, Santa Claus
[]hot tub
[]make sweatshirts for up & coming family road trip
wish I could make this 800x in size, again.
[]See my foreigner/alien back in America, Aubrie! (kiss kiss hug hug)
[] go to Disneyland & say hi to all my favorites from the movies
[]decorate cookies
[]give perfect gifts
[x] say yes to opportunity
[]visit a toy store
[x]be nice

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Checking it Twice

Who would've thought that finals season has already come & threatened to snatch the rug of comfort from underneath us?
This girl is shocked that it's final time.
 BYU always has a few tricks up it's sleeves.
Today I searched for a quiet spot where I probably wouldn't see anyone I knew.
(aka solidifying I would actually get something done.)
& I stumbled across quite a delicious find.
I found like I found a needle in a haystack.
This sort of "secret" needs protection.
Not everyone can know about this or it will lose it's magic.
Sometimes you hit walls & get tired of studying.
To shake it up, Wade & Rachel studied with me for an extended hour or two,
& I rewarded their kindness with Frosty's & fries.
We stopped studying when Wade said I "was running the risk of information overload which leads to short circuits."
Too true young lad of 11, too true.
Wish me luck on my first final tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I'll Be Home For Christmas

There are few people whom I love & adore more than 
Miss Aubrie D. Tilley.
(I tried to name one.. failed.)

Check her out here.
Christmas 2011
 There are few people who embrace the Christmas spirit the whole year round.
Aub does.
She does it with class, & that's why I'm crowning her
(drumroll please)
The Queen of Christmas!
She listens to Christmas music in June & counts down the days until Christmas.
It isn't so much the day she loves.
But more of the season.
I look at this picture every night to secure myself good dreams
The past three months of Aubrie's life have been dedicated to service in China; helping babies become healthy & happy.
She took an incredible leap of faith that swept her thousands of miles from anyone she knew.
Talk about courage.
I've missed her so much!
She comes home **this** Friday & I am pinching myself to insure it's real.
I have some bruises, so it must be!
We've enjoyed some FaceTime's while she's been away,
(& I've enjoyed taking these screen shots without telling her..)
(thank goodness for iPhone's, wifi, & technology!!)
& I got to see firsthand how much everyone & all the little ones love her.
Aubrie is love, & people are drawn to her.
Her light is contagious & she glows.
Certainly the Chinese are no exception!
Everyone needs an Aubrie Tilley in their lives, & I am so lucky to get the actual & completely genuine, original real thing.
****Wish you knew her?
Check out her Tuesday Times here.
If I'm allowed to have favorites, I think this interview is mine.