Sunday, January 29, 2012

Catsup, Ketchup, or Catch-up?

We're sorry for the long pause between our last was my turn, but I kept getting sidetracked on one of the many projects I try to work on. But guilt finally found me.

We rang in the new year by having a simple potato bar at our place with some friends from the ward, after which we all watched The Gods Must Be Crazy.

Potatoes and friends on New Year's Eve 2011

Though nothing extraordinary has thus far changed dramatically in two-aught-one-two, we're happy as always and have been keeping busy. Lisa has been working hard on her sewing skills, and has churned out a few results, including stockings, a blanket, and pajama pants, and is now working on a skirt and jacket outfit.

Cupcake blanket

Flowery pajamas

We completed the transcription of Lucretia Hupper's book of poetry and published it in a 271-page volume. It was exciting to have that project to work on, and we were able to see the original book in the Church History Library (CHL).

Cover of Lucretia Hupper's book

First page...not all of the pages were nearly this neat!

The unique Alfred McCune home, just one block north of the Church History Library

Doorway in the CHL that mentions the commandment to keep records. The Church
has amazing archives and records, but my own personal journal is lacking...

We tried to see the Lights on Temple Square shortly after the new year, but apparently the event ends on December 31st (in fact, it was pretty dark). I think some other people walking around were disappointed as well...we saw someone propose in the dark, but I bet he was planning for lights. Some of the nativity displays were still up, though.

Shepherds on display

The Salt Lake Temple at night

Lisa has been juggling work, school, and home, and still manages to make delicious food:
This French missionary favourite, crème fraîche pizza, is likely second
only to the Bacon Explosion in unhealthiness, but is so very good...

Coconut chicken

Homemade chili and some cornbread

Buffalo chicken pizza

Chicken pot pie

The most exciting news at the moment is the nearing arrival of three nephews in the next few weeks! We're proud of the current example their parents are and hope to live up to the bar they've set for us.

Our latest addition to the family, Gus the Gator!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Christmas letter / 2011 in review

Dear family and friends,

We regret not being able to see more of you more often than we do! We have had a good year and would like to share some of it with you as the year’s end approaches.

January - we started out the year with our cutie pie twin nieces (and their parents & their mom's family)
January - visit to Bountiful, UT temple
January - visit to Grandma Bradshaw in Bountiful, UT
February - Lisa's cousin's baptism
February - Carl Bloch exhibit at BYU's MoA with Dad Jeff
 In March of this year, we celebrated our one-year anniversary. Marriage has been a wonderful adventure for us so far. We live in Utah, where we originally met while attending Brigham Young University. Although we do not intend to stay in Utah much longer than it takes for Lisa to graduate, one of the greatest blessings we enjoy here is living close to several temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which we are grateful to be able to attend regularly.

March - Thomas sang during a devotional for his choir class
March - we had the top tier of our wedding cake to celebrate Lisa's birthday and our first anniversary

In mid-March, Thomas started growing a beard in order to be considered as an extra for a New Testament filming project that the Church had scheduled for this summer. He was accepted and was able to participate in filming for three days total in September before the project wrapped up in October. He ended up shaving his quite impressive beard in November, after keeping it for Halloween (for which Lisa sewed some period costumes).

April - we hosted a Passover meal with some friends
April - we hiked the Y
Thomas finished his undergraduate degree at BYU in April. He graduated with a degree in Linguistics, a field focused on the study of how language works (for the record, he has studied French and a little bit of Chinese). He now works at a hosting company where he offers tech support services via chat.

May - trip to the Bountiful temple with Thomas' dad, aunt, and grandmother
May - our parked car was totaled when it was hit head-on by a drunk driver (the car parked behind ours was also totaled)
May - Lisa's family came to visit us. Her parents were there for a weekend.
June - Lisa's sister Morgan stayed for a week (same trip as mentioned with the last picture).
Lisa is still an undergraduate student at BYU. She successfully completed Calculus II over the summer, which felt like quite an achievement. After having some “focus-of-study crises” she has made a decision that will allow her to finish after two or three more semesters, something we both are looking forward to. In addition to taking classes, she works as a cataloger at a company that offers services to publishers/libraries.

June - Thomas's Peterson grandparents were in Utah and stopped by for dinner
July - we remembered Grandma Bradshaw's incredible life after she passed away
July - we spent a weekend in Heber/Midway at the family cabin
This August, we enjoyed heading to the Pacific Northwest for a Bradshaw family reunion. We had very gracious hosts and a wonderful time! It has been a delight to be able to spend some time this year with both of our families, including having Lisa’s sister visit us in Provo for a week in June.

August - we visited Thomas' grandparents in Astoria, Oregon for a few days before heading to Seattle together. This is us at the top of the Astoria column.
August - we had a fabulous time with Thomas' side of the family at the week-long Bradshaw reunion in the Seattle area
August - we got together with some of Thomas' childhood friends and their spouses when they came through our area on their way to camp/go offroading
October - Thomas wearing the costume I made (well, I didn't make the headdress). Most of our September pictures are from the Jerusalem Set in Goshen and we don't think we can share them here, unfortunately
November - we traveled to California for Thanksgiving. Sacramento temple pictured
November - We spent several days with Lisa's family. We also got to see Thomas' sister Liz and her family
December - for other pictures, see most recent posts... among other things, we prepared our first ham.
We are grateful for new family members and we mourn for those lost. We express our faith in the Almighty and in the saving power of the Messiah, whose birth we celebrate this Christmas. We wish you a merry Christmas and a lovely and exciting 2012!