Thursday, December 31, 2009

Lets update this blog thingy!

I've been sucking at blogging, so here are 3 new posts summarizing our entire Christmas holiday and my birthday!

My birthday is December 29th. I'll admit, it's not the best day in the year to have a birthday, but over the years, I've found some good things about it.

#1. If you didn't get everything you wanted for Christmas, you can still ask for it for your birthday.

#2. Because it's between Christmas & New Year, I'm often with my family sometime during that week... so my mom never forgets my birthday. My mom is an angel on earth, but she's not so great at remembering everyone's b-days. But mine... she always remembers!

#3. uuuhhhhhh, can't think of a third thing, I guess.

But anyway, as I mentioned in my last post, we decided early on to drive home on the 29th. There was a storm coming in to Denver on Tuesday night, which meant it was already in Utah on Tuesday morning. Paul and I didn't end up getting a good nights rest on Monday night because he picked up the same mystery bug that Charlie did. When Paul throws up, it sounds like the end of the world... no kidding! So he threw up several times that night, which meant both of us had interrupted sleep. I also was struggling with some pinched nerves in my neck and shoulders during the night. But on Tuesday morning, we got up, and started gathering in all our stuff that was strewn all over the house. We had a difficult time keeping all the toys "put away" because the kids kept getting them out and putting them in different places. I was doing my best not to start off the day ornery, but I was in a bunch of pain whenever I moved my head to the right, left, or even up. YIKES!! By noon, we were pretty confident we had everything gathered and ready to go.

Right as we were leaving, when Charlie was literally heading out the door to go get in the car, he ran down the wheelchair ramp in the garage, lost his footing and landed face first on the garage floor. His mouth was bleeding and he had a HUGE fat lip. Poor little monkey! So he was pretty upset for a while as we started the journey home. Several times during the trip, he was sad and wanted to be held, but overall, did very well considering his mouth was hurting.

We didn't hit too much weather driving home. A little bit of snow here and there the closer we got to Utah, until we got to Price. So very similarly to driving TO Denver, we didn't hit bad weather until we were within half an hour of our destination. My neck and shoulders were killing me and we were all SOOOOO ready to be home, as we always are. We finally pulled in at about 8:30pm and unloaded the car. I was glad we got home in time for Paul to play basketball with his buddies from the ward. I got the kids in bed after watching Meet the Robinsons on the new TV and then I went to bed as well. So... not quite a perfect birthday, but it could have been worse. The highlight of my day was hearing my phone beep everytime one of my friends left me birthday wishes on Facebook. So thanks to all those who did!

But instead of ending this post as a big ol' pity-party, I need to tell you about the day AFTER my birthday! I had plans to go to lunch with my bestie, Emily, but because my neck was still hurting, I needed to schedule either a massage or a chiropractor appointment. Thankfully, I was able to schedule the massage AND facial for that afternoon (Paul had given me a gift certificate for Valentine's Day and I finally took the time to use it!). Boy howdy... I LOVE GOING TO THE SPA!!!!!!!!!!!!! The last time I got a massage and facial was 2 years ago. The massage I got yesterday was seriously the best one I've ever had. She worked on my neck, back and shoulders so well and I felt tons better afterwards. The facial was also very nice, but it's always a guilt-ridden experience for me since I spend VERY little time and effort on my skin. She chastised me in a very loving way and did convince me to stop using bar soap as my daily facial cleanser! I've even washed off my make up for 2 whole nights in a row! I know... impressive!

It turns out I wasn't able to go to lunch with Emily because she also had an appointment for that afternoon, but it meant that I could go on a date with Paul. Em and I will go to lunch on Saturday! Paul and I thought about going ice skating that night, but the rink closed early. We ended up just going to dinner and walking around the mall after looking into getting me some new glasses.

Speaking of new glasses, I did end up going back today to get a new eye exam and glasses. I was considering getting contacts, but because my prescription is so light, the doctor wasn't convinced it would be a good option for me. So I had to pick out my frames all by myself and I'm not completely convinced that I picked the right ones. Some decisions should not be made alone! I hope they don't look stupid on me, but even if they do, it is wonderful to be able to see clearly again... especially at night!

So, even though my birthDAY wasn't the best, I'm excited that I was able to get pampered and get some new specs! Yay for birthdays!!

Christmas with the Andersons

We got to celebrate Christmas in Colorado with my family this year. I love spending it with them, since I'm usually suffering some level of homesickness throughout the year... nothing too clinical or anything, but I miss my family often!

Despite weather warnings, we headed over to Denver on Wednesday the 23rd. Tuesday was a nightmarishly busy day. I had a chiropractor appt, errands to run for work, a class Christmas party to help with, kids presents to wrap, treats to make, house to clean, clothes to pack... I'm sure you get the idea. There was so much I had to get done and I only accomplished about 2/3rds of it before leaving on Wednesday. That's why my neighbors didn't get any yummy treats and why my house was still pretty cluttered (which wouldn't have mattered, but we offered to let our neighbors use our house while we were gone... so embarassing! At least the sheets were clean!). But we were able to get out the door by 9:00 on Wednesday morning and we prayed for good weather and good time. We miraculously got both! We didn't hit any bad roads until we were 30 minutes from Denver! Hallelujah!!!!

We even got there in time for me to go see the 'Little House on the Prairie' musical with my mom. It was done very well and even Melissa Gilbert herself was in the cast playing 'Ma'. My only complaint about the musical is that they attempted to make a political statement with one of the songs. I was highly annoyed that they portrayed the people of that era as embittered and whiny that Uncle Sam wasn't helping them enough. Ugh! Ah well... otherwise, it was lovely and I really need to read those books!

Thursday was Christmas eve and Paul broke our rule and took my sister and went shopping for me. We had agreed to pool our Christmas gifts together to get a new TV. We ended up with a 42" LCD screen HDTV and we're both excited about it. But Paul was frustrated that I wouldn't have anything to open, so he went & spent a little more... the booger. So then I went to Target with my mom so I could get stocking stuffers and something little for Paul to open as well. I guess we both cheated! On Christmas eve, we just hung out at my parents with my 3 younger sisters and my cousin.

Christmas morning was perfect. We always have our yummy breakfast casserole, and then open presents. We let the boys open all their gifts quickly because we had an appointment to talk to Paul's missionary brother, Tanner, at 9:00. This Christmas was so fun because the boys were very specific about what they wanted this year, so they were very excited when they got what they were hoping for. Charlie got the fire truck he knew he would get from Santa, as well as a Geo Trax train. That train is the best money we've ever spent since Charlie hasn't stopped saying "chugga chugga chugga chugga CHOOOOOO CHOOOOOO!" for 5 days now! Canon scored with all his bakugan and star wars toys and Andy got some fun things, but unfortunately, 2 of those toys were made of crap, so they broke within 5 minutes or never worked at all. Here's hoping Toys-R-Us wants to be nice and let us exchange them!

Talking to Paul's little brothers on Christmas was great. We talked to Preston at 2:00. If I'm being totally honest, I can't say I miss them. I know it sounds harsh, but they are exactly where I want them to be right now... serving honorable missions, learning new skills, strengthening their testimonies of the gospel, growing up... all good things! It was fun to hear their voices, but I'm counting on NOT seeing them for another 18 months.

All my Colorado siblings came over for Christmas dinner. That makes for one busy, noisy house, but I love it. My boys don't get to see their cousins nearly enough and they were having so much fun. We ate a yummy meal and gabbed and gabbed as we always do! We even pulled out a game of Trivial Pursuit, which would have been more fun except that very few people actually like that game... I know I don't! We sent Andy and Canon home with Scott's family for a sleep over and made plans to see them that next day. We couldn't have asked for a better Christmas day.

On Saturday, we went to Scott & Rebekah's house for the afternoon. The kids played so well together that we were able to sit down and play an entire game of 'Ticket to Ride'. It was a lot of fun and Paul even enjoyed it and managed to win! After that, we drove to Shelyce's house and had dinner and hung out with them for the rest of the night. Our visit with them was dampered a bit by Charlie's frequent vomiting. He threw up on the stairs and then proceeded to throw up every 30-45 minutes or so until we left... fun for all! Thanks to Shelyce and Lynn for being so gracious about it. I have NO IDEA where Charlie would have picked up this stomach bug, but he got it and passed it on to Paul, then Canon. My deepest prayer is that none of the family we visited this week picked it up. SOOOOOOOOOOOOO sorry if ya did :/.

The rest of the weekend was mellow and we watched a bunch of the Planet Earth documentaries and movies on my parent's new BluRay disc player! Paul took me shopping and to lunch on Monday because we'd decided to drive home on my birthday (tuesday). I was basically able to milk my birthday celebration for 3 days! And even though it was sucky to spend my birthday in the car, we needed to avoid another storm and let my cousin have her room back. Julie was a sweetheart about the whole thing and I appreciate her being willing to give up her space for a week.

So in a nutshell (okay, a big nutshell)... that was our Christmas holiday. Thanks to my family, and especially my parents, for being the best! I love you all SO MUCH.

Christmas with the Croshaws

Since we got to spend Christmas with my family this year, we had our Croshaw Christmas gathering early on the 14th. One thing I love about celebrating Christmas with the Croshaws is that we have some traditions in place, which is what makes a celebration even better.

This year, we met early (since it was a school night) and had a pizza dinner together. We bundled up the kids and went caroling as a family. Thankfully, the weather wasn't quite so miserable this year as it has been in years past. Caroling always takes a little longer than I like it to, but it is a fun tradition because our family sounds really good when we all sing together!

After getting back to the lodge, we decorated Melanie's delicious sugar cookies and drank hot chocolate. Mmmmmmmmmm! Then, we had the children act out the Nativity story. Andy was Joseph, Canon a wise man, and Charlie was happy to be a cow! He even stood there and moo'd when his part was mentioned! Then we exchanged gifts! The kids were all very excited about their toys from Grandma and their cousin exchange and I got a beautiful shirt and some jewelry from Amy. Awesome!

We didn't do it that night, but we did also gather one evening to go see the Christmas light display in Spanish Fork. We piled into Steven's huge motor home and drove around the park twice. We were thinking of going up to temple square that way, but considering that the motor home really only travels 4 people comfortably, we're glad that we only had to drive about 15 miles total with over 20 people in there!

Thanks for a fun Christmas celebration, Croshaw fam! We sure love being close to all of you!

Monday, December 14, 2009

A payday of sorts

Warning: This will be a boastful blog entry, if you will. As I read 'Seriously So Blessed' and the comments it generates, I've come to understand that it is bad form to ever express something that happens that you are proud of... so good form aside, I shall proceed. Be sure to call me TAMN in any comment you may wish to leave.

On Sunday night, our stake held it's annual "Christmas Choirside." This is a musical fireside that every ward in the stake contributes to. Each ward chooses a hymn in which the entire congregation sings together, and then they proceed to sing a Christmas song they have prepared for their Christmas sacrament meeting program. The first couple years I participated with our ward in this event, I was annoyed by it and always wanted to leave as soon as our ward was done. But now that I am the choir director of our ward, I actually find it fun. You wanna know the reason? It's because, hands down, I have the best choir in the stake!

See... I told you this post would be dripping with pride. I can't hide from it!

Now, I don't mean to say that the other wards have bad choirs (okay, truth be told, some of them do... sorry). Several of them were quite talented with some excellent singers. Some wards had pretty small choirs, but could put out a good sound. Some had medium sized choirs with a decent sound. They all chose lovely Christmas songs, and it's hard to go wrong when singing beautiful music celebrating a miraculous event. I can honestly say, there was something good about each number performed.

My choir was 7th on the program. We were all sitting together, squished like sardines on 2 of the longer center pews in the chapel, and when we went up on the stand, it made the chapel look pretty bare. Not all my choir members were there last night and we still had about 25 singers. I'm so blessed (yep... sounding like TAMN!) to have so many talented singers willing to support our choir. We have some seriously beautiful voices and all of them are able and willing to blend their voices together so that we sound unified. I'm also blessed that they learn music quickly and actually follow me and humor me with some of the wacky techniques I picked up from my voice teachers and choir directors of my youth. I'm ALSO very lucky to have a gifted accompanist who has been able to handle EVERYTHING I've thrown at him with zero warning.

Our song was beautiful and I got the biggest buzz out of being in front of them and being able to call them "my" choir. I will attempt some humility here, though, and call it "our" choir. The hardest thing about being the director of a ward choir is that it is a job that is IMPOSSIBLE to do by yourself. A person could be the most gifted performer or director (which I'm not) and still be a complete failure without the support of the ward members. I am very, very thankful to ALL the ward members willing to come and make our choir the success that it is. I have so much fun with all of them!

So, last night was a payday for me. Being the choir director, like any calling in the church, does have it's element of work. Thankfully, this is a calling with frequent rewards, and last night was one of them! I left there feeling like a million bucks! Thanks everyone!