Thursday, December 27, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

Here are some pictures for you. We've been able to attend several wonderful Christmas concerts this season with beautiful performances of Christmas carols. They really helped us focus on the birth of our savior Jesus Christ. Other happenings are recorded below...

Snow, Dec. 17th
Bradshaw family Christmas party
Salt Lake Temple, Dec. 22nd
Salt Lake Temple, Dec. 22nd, with Christmas lights
An amazing light display in Orem, just south of the University Parkway exit and visible from I-15 in the distance. We'd seen it several times and decided to scout it out. It was really impressive.
Christmas lights & decorations turned this Provo residence into a gingerbread house!!

us on Christmas morning, wearing our Christmas PJs from my parents
We spent a quiet Christmas at home this year, except for Christmas dinner, which we shared with a family in our ward. In the evening we took advantage of modern technology to videochat with our families.

Although we had some leftover snow from Christmas eve for a white Christmas, the real snow came afterward...
yesterday afternoon
This morning. We woke up to 10-12 inches of snow!

And now for some final pictures. We were able to get some time off work this week so today we went to Tucano's. While waiting to be seated, we went to nearby Blickenstaff's for the first time. What a cool store. They sell candy and all kinds of toys and games. (I really liked their toy selection-- I can't think of any toys I saw that I didn't like or wouldn't want to have in my home. They had a lot of Melissa & Doug stuff, including this really cute toy)
They had this weird-looking Christmas tree at Blickenstaff's. I didn't think much of it, but Thomas inspected it more closely and discovered...'s made out of CANDY!
those are gummy bears on that ornament. The tree part is made out of those fruit slice candies. Thomas thought it was really cool. I thought it was pretty gross.
Hope your Christmas was lovely!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Lisa graduated! And other updates on our life

Amazing clouds -- taken from BYU's law parking lot
Before I get started on us, I want to express my sorrow for the tragic shooting in Connecticut on Friday. I ache for that community and the many families who lost their precious little ones. I think many factors contributed to its culmination but I know of only one way to find peace in its wake: through Jesus Christ and His infinite atonement. My familiarity with the words of some of His servants helps me, though mournful, to gain needed perspective and hope. You can find comfort in these talks, too.

Thomas took this photo in Western Utah (west of Tooele I believe) while I was driving on our trip back to Utah after Thanksgiving
With finals wrapping up last week, I am officially finished with my undergraduate degree at BYU! Grades aren't officially in yet, but I have a hunch that I passed all of my classes this semester.

Speaking of classes, thank you to any and all of you who helped me with my family life education project. Partially thanks to you, I earned my highest ever grade in that class - 99.67%! My groupmates and I made a pretty good team and turned out a great project.

Now that I'm done with school, our future is a little up in the air. We figure we'll move out of Utah within the next year sometime, and we are planning to head to a west coast state. For now, though, we'll just be around and continue working at our jobs. We'll let you know if we figure anything else out.

Snowy day in Provo
Since our last post, Thomas got a haircut and had the beard shaved off. People's reactions are so funny - people in the ward still comment how they weren't sure who that guy was sitting by me but then realized it was indeed Thomas.

Coincidentally, this is what Thomas looks like with a handlebar mustache...

We had a pretty big snowstorm in the middle of November. Since there were still leaves on many trees, and because the snow that came was wetter (=heavier) than normal Utah snow, a lot of branches (big ones, too) broke off the trees around Provo. Our yard was a disaster. We did a lot of cleanup and our upstairs neighbors helped.

We spent a nice Thanksgiving week in California. We visited Elizabeth and her family for a weekend (where we met our nephew Nasuikau for the first time), and then spent some time with my family.

Elizabeth and Saki
Mere did my hair...
We made fruit pizza. Glenn decorated his to look like a car!
Nasuikau is a happy little guy!
We got to spend a day in the Bay Area with my aunt and some cousins that I don't think I've seen since our wedding.
I love these people :o)
We also got to spend an evening with another aunt and cousin. 

Mom, Aunt Lucy, Gail
Thanksgiving itself was pretty low-key with mostly just my family and their new(ish) neighbor. That evening, a friend of Morgan came over for a little while.

Scrumptious desserts made by my mom & sister. Morgan makes a mean pumpkin pie and cheesecake. My mom tried out a pumpkin-pecan pie this year.
Morgan, my dad, and Morgan's friend played us some music.
Over the course of the week we got to see some other friends too, like Monica and her family and my friend Lanessa and a bunch of the ward I grew up in.

Unfortunately, we both ended up getting sick and felt crummy for most of our visit.

Morgan had a captivated audience when she made balloon animals for Mere & Glenn!
We celebrated Thomas' birthday early while there.
When we got back I had 2 more weeks of classes. I was very busy finishing final projects like my temple mosaic.

This was a much more involved project than I had planned on.
We went to an Italian Choir production for FHE one Monday. Samuel was part of the choir and did a solo. It was a lot of fun and got us in the Christmas spirit! We love beautiful music.

These are the guys in the choir. There were a lot more girls.
My last day of classes coincided with Thomas' birthday. I surprised him by coming home between classes (which I'd never done before) and cleaning the house, wrapping presents, baking a Bûche de Noël & 2 loaves of bread, and putting up the Christmas tree. Some family members and I went in on a server kit for him. It was really fun trying to keep it a secret for him! He understood the bigger picture once he opened a couple of the presents. He got right to work doing whatever one does with a server that night (meanwhile, I grouted my mosaic).

You can't really open a computer case as a gift and not realize what all the other things are likely going to be :o)
Bûche de Noël
I need to work on the frame, but the mosaic itself is complete :o)
This past week my little sister got her mission call! She will be serving in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. We are so excited for her! She will be an excellent missionary and I think she will love Louisiana.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

School Project

Before you spend your life's savings doing your Black Friday shopping, check out the project 2 classmates and I have been working on this semester:

Our class is about Family Life Education and our assigned project was to create a family life education program. Rather than creating a workshop, we built a blog.

Our blog has information about budgeting and financial planning. It is aimed at young married couples, so it also has information about communicating with a spouse about money. However, we think it is beneficial for anybody, married or not.

Part of our grade is based on having people go through our site and fill out some surveys, so if you are willing to help us out, that would be great! (You can access the first survey here; another survey will be emailed to you)

Feel free to leave comments about what you liked, things you learned, or ways you would like to see our project improved. We also welcome feedback about typos, grammar, and other topics you would like to see covered.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Life after vacation

So, if you've been counting, we have been back from our trip, which 5 of the last 6 most recent posts have been about, for 3 months. Here is what we've been up to in that time...

Our ward boundaries changed. We've made some new friends!

Thomas got me flowers:
Peruvian Lillies
Progress continues at the Provo Tabernacle/Provo City Center Temple:
On the ground are the 4 tower roofs...
Thomas did another day of filming. Filming ended for the year.

We saw the play Xanadu:

At a party hosted by my employer, Thomas came in third place in bowling. All 3 top scores were by employees' spouses.

I started my last semester at BYU!! I am taking 4 classes but they are upper-level courses and a couple of them are pretty challenging. I am currently working on some really awesome projects though, and I am truly grateful to be at such a wonderful school, where my faith is strengthened, not mocked, and where aspiring to be a wife and mother is still considered by many to be a worthwhile endeavor.
  • Within a couple weeks I will be calling on anyone who reads this blog (and friends/family that do not) to participate in a family life education course (it's free & online) I am building with some classmates. It is for an assignment and I think you will find our treatment of the subject matter beneficial!! Stay tuned.
We got new neighbors. The ones upstairs are related to some of my friends back home!

Thomas' dad visited us a few times. Here are some pictures from his visits:
We made sweet & sour chicken with fried rice
Jeff took us & Samuel to Gloria's Little Italy.
On a walk, we saw the apartment complex where Jeff & Kathleen lived early in their marriage.
It is just down the street from where I lived when we were dating! Arcadia has a new sign.
On another visit, Jeff treated us to dinner at Banana Leaf. It is a Sri Lankan and Singaporean restaurant that opened about a year ago. It is in an old converted house on University Avenue. We loved it! Beautiful decor and plenty of delicious food.
Everything is served on actual banana leaves!
We ordered a party combination (the "Magical Kondatum") and got to sample quite a few different dishes! It was all delicious. And we had a lot of leftovers.
One of his trips was for the Temple On Mount Zion Conference in September. You can see his presentation here. This was the second meeting of this conference, where LDS scholars present research related to temples. Topics range from Old Testament connections to symbolism in current temple architecture.
We went to the Brigham City Temple dedication (broadcast to our stake center).

We went to a regional stake conference (broadcast) where Elder Dallin H. Oaks spoke.

We watched General Conference, where we listened to inspiring addresses from the current President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and sustained Prophet, Seer, and Revelator Thomas S. Monson (including exciting news about missionary service!). If you are interested in finding out what an authorized servant of Jesus Christ and true prophet has to say to us right now, you can watch/listen/read here:
We went to Megan's house for a Roommate Reunion:
We lived together in Arcadia 1 my first year in Utah. One other roommate moved in for a short time after Trista got married but she lives out of state now.

We cooked:
Lasagna with zucchini & onions inside
Sweet & sour shrimp
Cheesecake brownies. Easy and delicious.
 We explored:

We helped out at the ward Halloween party:

We carved pumpkins for Halloween:

We went to the eye doctor and ordered new glasses.

We went mini-golfing again with some friends:

Anyway, life is good -- albeit busy -- and we are looking forward to the upcoming holidays. I will graduate just before Christmas and then we will see where life takes us.