Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Lots of catch-up

This month (and last I guess) have been somewhat crazy. So here's a little update from now going back to December....

With this new semester starting, I'm taking 15 credits at ASU East. I'm FINALLY in the Elementary Edu. program. Took me 3 years to get here but hey, whatcha gonna do. I'm still doing the nanny thing and lovin it. Those boys are so much fun. Brennon is working at Frontier airlines and taking one class at CGCC. We see each other for about an hour a day in the morning, 2 if were lucky. He has the night shift right now so he works from 5-1AM and I work during the day...but we do both have weekends totally off so that's nice. This semesters' gonna be ca-razy for me. I'm already overwhelmed. Oh, and we have to move out of the Mansion next month so were trying to find somewhere to rent right now. Good times. Anyways, so that's the update.

My good friend Emaly got married on Jan. 17th to her high school sweetheart Mark. She waited for him on his mission and they are just so dang cute together. It started at the bridal shower, which I don't have pictures of. Then, I got to throw her a "panty party" as we call it.

Cute twiners.

It was way fun. Lots of girl talk and eating and general merriment.

We got to go to their sealing and it was amazing. I just love going to those. And I love that I got married first so I've been able to go to some of them.

Here's us waiting for the lovely couple to come out.

Me admiring the bouquet.

Some of my high school buddies, Joe and Ian.

Aww precious.

Her hair was gorgeous.

Then, on the the reception after a lovely dinner with Traci and Clint. It was so pretty and simple. They had a photo booth outside that was so much fun. We may have taken a few more than we were supposed to.
Oh and this was was so cute and personal. Mark had always "joked" that he wanted a bounce house at there reception. But he was a little serious. So she suprised him and got one!

Just a cute picture of us with G-ma and G-pa.

I threw a little after-christmas recital for all my adorable piano students. The Mansion was the perfect place for it... They all did a fabu-loso job and I wish I didn't have to stop teaching them. Boo school.

My nervous face.

Doughnuts and fruit were served. Four dozen were gonna in like 2.5 sec.
Christmas. It was fun and magical and lovely. We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning in the valley with my fam then headed up to Show Low for Christmas day and night with the Fish's. we spent the rest of the weekend up there, eating, playing games, and generally being lazy. I miss that.

Christmas tree. I have big plans for next year.

A wreath I made. It looks better in person cause its all sparkly.

I also started doing Coupon Sense via my madre. She is a consultant FYI. I was a little skeptical at first but after this past week, I am SO excited about it! It's easy to learn and really doesn't take too much time once you get the hang of it. Here are the fruits of my (non)labors...

$75.00 worth of groceries for....

$ 20.00!!!

I've saved over 70% on my grocery bill this month! I know, I know, theres like 20 boxes of wheat thins and I think it will take us a year to go thru all the mustard. But when you can get the wheat thins for .50 cents and the mustard for FREE, why not? I am officially addicted and actually get excited about grocery shopping now. I am constantly competing to try and beat my last trip's savings. It's a bargain lovers dream.
So thats about it. That post took me waaaaay to long.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Big Apple adventure.

Why is New York called the Big Apple? Anyone?

Anyways, so we went to New York for New Years! It was quite an adventure to say the least. We went without a single plan, except that we wanted to see as much of New York as possible on a very limited budget. Hows that for spontaneous?

(FYI: There is going to be ALOT of pictures and ALOT of details so i don't forget everything by next week.)

This was our first time on a plane together ever! And we didn't even get to sit together...But I didn't care cause I was going to New York!

Here's us waiting at the airport to leave on our red eye flight. Oh, I got bangs by the way. This is the last picture of me actually looking semi-decent.

We both had to sit in the middle seat between two people just 3 rows behind each other. Brennon fell asleep in the first hour; me, on the other hand, did not. It was a continuous cycle of close my eyes, try to find a semi-comfortable position, fail miserably. So, I did not sleep from 11-6 in the morning. Good times.

We actually knew someone on the flight, Rustin Reidhead, Brennon's friend and my blog friend Tara's brother. He was a huge help because he's lived in NY for a year or so. He helped us plan our day and led us in the right direction.

We landed around 6:30 and proceeded to layer up. Listen to this. My wardrobe- 2 pairs of thick socks and thick boots, two pairs of thermal pants, sweat pants, and my jeans, thermal top, long sleeved shirt, sweat shirt, puffy jacket, and longer peacoat, scarf, beanie, pair of normal mittens under a pair of leather gloves and Russian hat thing. I felt like a marshmallow. I sort of killed me to think I was in New York, the fashion capital of the U.S., and this is how I looked. But once I stepped outside, I got over it. I was actually super glad I wore all of that cause I was warm basically the whole day, except for my face.

So the first thing we did was walk over the Brooklyn Bridge, per Rustin's referral. And it was pretty amazing. Awesome views of the city.

It started snowing right around 8 AM and our faces felt like they were gonna fall off. Favorite game- I would do something like a little dance and sing "I'm doing a dance on the Brooklyn bridge, I'm doing a dance on the Brooklyn bridge. What are you doing on the Brooklyn bridge?" And then Brennon would do something and so on. It was fun for a few minutes.

Then we headed over to Wall St. and Broadway. We found this awesome church with a big, super old cemetery in the middle.

Saw the New York stock Exchange building..Lots more security then I thought there would be. This is as close as we could get.

I was excited to see Tiffany's. Oh, how I wish I could shop in you, dear Tiffanys.

The Bull. We weren't all that interested but everyone else was.

We saw this awesome building and it ended up being the Museum of American Indian. I guess that works, Brennon IS a little bit Cherokee.

After all that, we headed over to the Staten Island Ferry, which is we were excited to find out is free! So it's amazing how many people are in NY. It's insane.

We tried out the panoramic setting on our Christmas present. The "shmuggy-ness"(thanks Kayla) didn't help.

The views were beautiful but we couldn't go outside cause it was FA-REZZING.

Then we got to Staten Island and had to catch the ferry back and it took forever. I got bored so I made Brennon wear my scarf as a skirt. He thoroughly enjoyed it.

Some views from the boat...

After that we headed over to Central Park. We were greeted by this crazy Asian man dressed as the statue of liberty. Can you say CREEPY?

Duck double date. We concluded that these were the only ducks that didn't fly south for the winter.

The ice skating rink at C.P. I wanted to skate so bad but it was like 25 bucks a person so we decided to just watch. Maybe next time.

We walked through the big statue park with all the dead writers, you know, the one on Big Daddy and lots of other movies. It was pretty sweet. We ended up here at the Beth-something fountain.

Central Park was beautiful with the light layer of snow covering everything. Huge trees everywhere, horse drawn carriages (we stayed at a distance from those), all the cool old bridges, and half frozen lakes. It was truly like a movie.
After that we headed over to uptown, I think. By the Rockefeller center and all that.

Saw the huge tree in all it's glory. Very much coldness at this point.

It got to be about 4:30 and we realized we forgot to eat lunch. So we searched for a good, authentic, yet non-scary, non-expensive place to eat. FYI, this is impossible. In the area we were at anyways. Oh and did I mention both of our phones died? Well Brennon's was very close to dying the whole time so we were afraid to use it because what if there was a real emergency instead of our food-related one? So after about 45 min. of searching, we settled on TGI Fridays. We did NOT care at this point because we were so famished.
After this, the night progressively started getting worse. Don't get me wrong, we still had a great time. It was just that nothing really worked out for us. We decided not to go to Times Square at 3'o'clock like you have to if you want to get in, just because we wanted to see the city and not stand around for 9 hours. Then we realized there's not much else to do in New York on New years except Times Square. So we tried to get in, but they weren't allowing backpacks in and we had 2. So after a while of trying to think of a plan to get in we decided it was pointless and went to the Rockefeller center. We then caught the Subway and had a funny experience. There was this older lady that kept holding the subway door for people so they could catch it, which your not supposed to do. She then started talking about how much the subways have changed and the she went on to talk about how she didn't do that for money. Then out of nowhere, she starts preachin, starting it with the sentence, "Right before I was about to commit suicide... " I know we shouldn't laugh, but she just kept going and going. Talked/yelled about her marijuana addiction and how Jesus saved her and a whole bunch of other stuff. It was so entertaining. She had absolutely no fear.
Then we went and rode the Staten Island ferry again to see it at night, which was beautiful.

We wanted to go up to the top of the Rockefeller center at midnight to see if maybe we could see the ball drop, but we came back and it was closed, even though we saw a sign that said the last one goes up at 11:10. Whatevs.
So we strolled around some more, froze a little, took the subways alot, and tried to decide what to do.

We then followed the massive herds of people trying to get into Times square. So the actually ball dropping takes place on 42nd/43rd St. By 9 PM, the cops were telling people to go to 59th St. to get in. It was pretty insane. They blocked off all roads getting anywhere close to T.S. So we walked and walked and finally got past all the cops. We were excited for a few minutes until we realized this was taking us to a dead end where they just had a TV showing the Times Square action. Lame. And it wasn't even 11 by then. So we were kinda at a loss of what to do.

So after much deliberation and standing in the cold, we decided to just head back to the airport. There was nowhere to go inside and nowhere really to go outside. So we stopped by Magnolia Bakery and got some DELISH hot chocolate and headed to the nearest subway.
We saw this on the way back.

Then we had to catch like 17 different trains to get where we needed to go. I actually really like the subways, its cool that you can get wherever in the city in a matter of minutes.

So we spent midnight on the subway. haha I still laugh thinking about it. We were in NEW YORK and we spent midnight in the subway system. It was great though. We were so tired from the day it was nice to just sit and relax for a while. Plus, I was running on about 6 hours of sleep in 24 hours so I was about to crash. We got back to the airport around 1:30 and tried to sleep. We didn't get a hotel cause they were SUPER expensive so we figured we could just sleep in the airport.

Bad idea.

Never again shall we do this.

We figured we could find a bench in the warmth of the airport and fall right to sleep. Yeah, there is no benches. And no warmth. So anyways, we tried about 5 different places and got a few hours in there. Caught our flight at 730AM, got to actually sit by each other, and slept almost the whole way home.

Overall, there's a lot we would do different for next time, like, oh I dunno, make a plan. But it was an adventure and really so much fun. New York is my new favorite city. I love the energy, the diversity, the amazing architecture. And the people were so incredibly friendly! We didn't meet one mean or rude person; everyone was so helpful. We think New Yorkers are just misunderstood. Then again, we didn't ride in a taxi.

We also saw Ground Zero somewhere in there, but you couldn't really see much. There's still a long list of places we want to see next time we go like...

1. Empire state building

2. Times Square (sad)

3. 5th Ave- all the shopping!

4. The Met

5. Statue of Liberty-actually take a tour of it

6. Greenwich Village

7. Ice Skate at Central Park or the Rockefeller Center

8. Guggenheim Museum

9. Saturday night live or Dave Letterman show taping

10. Chrysler building

So, we heart New York and had a fabulous trip. We were talking about it last night and realized that we slept in about 7 places in New York. The subways, the air-tran, a table at the Rockefeller center, and about 4 places in the airport. ha, good times.

Hope your New Years was wonderful!