We started the Holiday season thinking that we weren't going to be able to buy gifts for one another, instead focusing our money on family and bulking our savings. But this was before we sold my car. One day, during finals week, Ryan went to his parents' house to show a guy the car. This was probably the third or fourth serious showing of the car, and with no real luck so far, I wasn't anticipating anything. I was on the sofa at home "studying" French when Ryan came back from his parents' house. Only, he wasn't alone. A stranger walks in, and they're both talking about the car and printing off a sales paper or something, and before I can blink, the car is sold and we suddenly have a whole bunch of extra cash to spend. We put more than half in savings and used the rest of it to pay for gifts. I was totally okay with having a "Who-ville" Christmas, but I always love an opportunity to buy the people I love gifts.
We also got a small, but cute *fake* Christmas tree. It's not white, like we wanted it to be (they're actually quite hard to come by, surprisingly), but we love it.
Let's see, what else? Oh yes, I made peppermint ice cream with the ice cream maker we got as a wedding present from mom's childhood friend, Jamie Kay.
Here it is from the front. Nice, old-fashioned, wooden barrel.
There it is with the ice in it, churning away. It wasn't nearly as noisy as mom's ice cream maker.
Artsy angle of the fastener that kept everything in place.
The finished product after it's been in the freezer over night. SO GOOD!
Best part? I still have some a week after making it. And it's so good! I am eager to try some more recipes in the ice cream maker, maybe even trying out gelato sometime soon!
Last Monday, I participated in the Merrill's tradition of going down to Spanish Fork for the annual city-sponsored Festival of Lights. It included tons of light sculptures(?) or whatever you call those things. Just look at following pictures (taken with my phone, so excuse the poor quality) and figure it out for yourself.
A lovely castle.
A fun stocking.
The deer and rocking horse, which, if I remember correctly, was actually rocking.
There were some other, more bizarre things like a bear catching fish, dinosaurs, and things that don't really relate to Christmas, but were fun nonetheless.
Afterwards, we went to Santaquin for some huge, and I mean HUGE, scones. Think dinner plate size. I didn't snag any photos of them, so you just have to take my word for it. But they're GINORMOUS. And delicious. Overall, it was a fun evening.
The day before Christmas Eve (the 23rd to be more exact) Ryan's parents were kind enough to adopt a Lambson tradition of having a Jerusalem dinner. There were some modern twists to some of the food (such as the fluffy fruit salad that was made with pomegranates, bananas and apples all mixed together in home-made whipped cream), but it was quite delicious, especially the cornish game hens that were cooked to perfection. We finished off that evening watching "Scrooge", another Lambson family favorite/tradition.
Christmas Eve was the celebration of Stephanie's birthday. We all went up to Park City to enjoy breakfast at The Eating Establishment and window shopped for a bit before returning home so we could prepare for the evening's festivities. The evening was spent with the entire Merrill family at the grandparents' home eating delicious food, participating in a Christmas program put on by the whole family, and chatting about different things. Me and Ryan stayed overnight at his parents' home so that we could wake up early, get ready for church, and go to sacrament meeting with his family.
Christmas Day was better than I could have dreamed. It was my first away from home, and Ryan's family was so good at making sure I was comfortable and happy during it all. It was hard at times, a few tears were shed (especially when I called home and the entire family sang "Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer" for me), but Ryan was good at cheering me up. So Christmas was amazing, spiritual, and so much fun.
I got Ryan a Nintendo 3DS, since his normal DS was on its last leg.
And Ryan surprised me with a nice Camelbak water bottle, and not so much surprised me with a new Kindle Touch (we had talked about getting one for me anyways so I could stop borrowing his).
Mine is the one on the right, the red and blue one. I LOVE it!
The Kindle Touch. He got me a nice case for mine as well that has a light attached to it so I can read in the dark.
I also got a new peacoat to replace my $10 shouldn't-be-used-as-an-actual-coat coat that I've had for a year now, some nice winter boots with fur lining that are both cute and practical (they're a suede fabric, but have been treated in the making process so that they're water-proof and won't destroy the fabric), and some fun winter-styled Toms.
So I am ready for the winter weather that will, hopefully, come. We've been lacking in the snow department so far and on Christmas Day, I was comfortable without a coat, just a thin sweater. WEIRD.
Finally, me and Ryan got a nice, new TV stand from his parents! So the coffee table we've been using as a TV stand can actually serve its true purpose. The set-up is so much nicer and I actually have a place to put our copies of the Ensign and the Nativity set we got from Ryan's grandparents.
We are so blessed to have Ryan's family close by so that we can celebrate the Holidays with them without having to spend too much money on travel. I missed my family dearly on Christmas but it won't be too long before I see them!
Sorry if the post felt rushed. It was gonna be a long one so I tried to be as concise as possible.
Love you all, and Happy Holidays!