Monday, January 2, 2012

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year & Some Other Stuff Too!

Well, we're back in California and are enjoying our favorite California things. In N Out Burger, Wahoo's, the beach, Disneyland, friends, family, the traffic, the smog, the lights... We've been enjoying home a lot. 

Only a few days after arriving, we were honored to be a part of our friend Steve "Barney" Graves' proposal to my oldest friend Meredith Bowdish. (Mer and I met on the slide in Kindergarten and have been close ever since) Barney and I had been working together so he could create a dream proposal for Meredith and after many phone calls, texts, and e-mails, the big day finally came. He had us pick up Meredith's 16-year-old daughter, Rianna, and take her to Downtown Disney where we set up flowers and candles on one of the patios at the Grand Californian. He told Meredith that he wanted to get pictures of them in front of the Christmas tree and on the balcony and then surprised her with a proposal on bended knee. if you look closely at this picture, you will see that he's holding the ring box upside down - we was just so nervous! 

 Of course she said "yes" and they went to celebrate at The Napa Rose while Ron and I took Rianna (or Ri-Bo as we affectionately nicknamed her) to The Rain Forest Cafe for dinner. Rianna loves Barney and is both excited and nervous about the impending marriage. It was such an honor to be a part of such a special day in our friends' lives and we wish them boundless blessings and happiness as they form their new family.


 Last week we had plans to join Barney and Meredith for a day at Disneyland. We were so excited to go (Well, Ron was a little apprehensive since he hasn't been to Disneyland as a guest in about 15 years and was afraid he would miss working there too much.) and practically ran from the car to the tram that would drop us off at the gates. Sadly, the park was so crowded that they were turning people away and wouldn't be able to let more guests in until after 6pm that evening. We'll be able to go next week when the crowds die down after the holiday vacation rush but we were still sad to miss out on the park that day. See how sad?


We settled on heading down to Newport Beach to enjoy the sunny weather and clear skies. We walked out on the pier and took some pictures.


 I had fun jumping off of benches to get some airborn shots that Ron said are for teenager. But I think they're fun!

After attending church service at Mariner's Church, we spent Christmas Eve at the Fancher house where my mom and I made dinner together. We made Beef Wellington from scratch (sauces and all), green beans almondine, salad with my homemade dressing, and mashed potatoes. Everything was delicious and we managed to not kill each other in the process of sharing a kitchen... but we came close...



Just kidding! It was really fun!

The next day we opened gifts in the morning. We were amused at the lopsided amount of gifts given to my brother and I and thought it deserved pictures and a little collage. No, this was not staged. That's what it looked like. It's a good thing I don't find fulfillment in gifts right?


 Mom and Dad did give me my two favorite gifts of the year - a Magic Bullet so we can blend smoothies on the ship next contract and a gift card to A Snail's Pace for new, custom fit running shoes! I went down and got fitted right away and I love them! What a difference the correct shoes makes!

Later that day we went to Oxnard to visit Ron's grandmother, sister, mom and her husband. We had a very nice dinner and visit but we were remiss in that we brought the camera and then forgot to take pictures! We'll be heading back up there tomorrow to celebrate Grandma's 97th birthday (wow!) and will be sure to take some then. The next day we drove to Claremont to visit Ron's dad and his wife. It was nice to spread Christmas out over three days. It made the fun last so much longer!

For New Year's Eve we were invited to do so many different things with a ton of different people but with all of the socializing and busy-ness the last few weeks, I have been feeling burned out and asked if we could just stay in for the evening. As it turned out my former roommate Chrissy and her friend Karl were looking for something mellow to do as well and were happy to just come over for snacks and games. We did end up venturing out to The Bench in Fullerton to ring in the New Year with Meredith and Barney. It was fun (and I always love time with Mer & B) but if I had it to do over again, I'd probably stay in and play games til midnight. We're getting old!

Happy New Year everyone! May 2012 be filled with an abundance of blessings, laughter, joy and the richness of life. Much love to you all.

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