Sunday, January 16, 2011

Goodbye 2010!!

I of course have to recap 2010 since it was simply perfect. At first thought all I can remember is school school and more school. But as I dig through pics and reminisce with Brandon I cannot believe all that we did! What a year! I'm so grateful for where we're at and for all the sacrifices and encouragement from family. We are just loving life and can't wait for all that 2011 holds!

We started off the year with a cabin trip with friends and family.....if you know Brandon's family, you know snowmobiling was involved. (I got to break out my new pink gear which was the funnest part for me!) We saved every penny to be able to take our trip to Vietnam. It was a study abroad for my nursing program and Brandon came along as a medical assistant which looks great for grad school applications. Sorry for all the pics on this one. It truly was one of those life changing experiences. I wouldn't say it was a "VACATION" but we had a blast, learned a lot, made some great friends, and hopefully made a difference in some small way. WE were touched for sure! How could you not be by these cute litte orphan faces?
Closing dinner after our 3 weeks can tell it's the end cuz look at Brandon's beard.
We ate soooo much seafood....and surprisinly loved it soooo much. Maybe since it was so fresh, they would actually be fishing off the side of our boat for lunch as we were doing clinics, and sure enough a couple hours later we had tables full of seafood! Brandon actually won "most adventurous at the table" award. (It's custom that the men had to finish all the food on the table since they don't waste ANYTHING, so this may have been part of it.)
Halong Bay....they call it their "8th world wonder" it was gorgeous! We visited caves and a whole community built on the ocean.
Leper colony. These cuties had been married 50 years! And we learned in Vietnam that were giants!
Water buffalo holding up traffic.
Mountain ladies beggin for glasses so they can do their stitching for a living.
What can I say, it was incredible, I wish I could have posted like 100 pictures but that would have only been for me, I'm sure you all would have been bored!
In April we celebrated Brandon's birthday with a gift certificate to La Cai. It was delish but I'll never go back again. This salad alone was about $20!
Said goodbye to Elder Duffin number 4! What an honor to have all 4 boys serve missions. What a cute bunch.We all got to do a temple session together too with the whole family there! It was a special moment to have the whole family together for the first time in the temple.

A couple days after sending him off we were off the Incredibles.

And the best news is that Brandon graduated with his Bachelors last May. YEAH!!! I'm so proud of this guy, he works so hard to fulfill his dreams.
Later that summer we spent some time in Park City with my family.
And went 4wheeling in a fugly sweater apparently. (I'm currently watching Mean Girls on TV)
Spent a weekend in July up in Idaho boating on grampa's boat.
How cute are these 2? Grandma and Grandpa Zollinger are all decked out for Declo Days!!Priceless.
Metcalf reunion also in July for more boating. We were pretty much acrobats with our tricks on the innertube.
Brandon learned to wind surf....harder than it looks.
In August I finished Nursing School!! YEAH!!! Can't believe we are graduated people! The guy at the bank called us DINK's. (Dual Income No Kids) It's been soo nice but hopefully that will change this year;) We'll see if Brandon actually reads this blog when he comes home and says "babe why would you write that?) P.S. no idea why this pic makes me look like a little pig nose.
Went on a graduation trip with my nursing school friends to the Oregon Coast. Brandon wanted a new tennis raquet for his graduation....of course.
October found us in Vegas with my family. We just love getting away I guess.
October found me pondering a lot about life as Hailey welcomed in her brand new precious baby Ruby...
And we said goodbye to my precious Grandpa Watkins. Still remembering him...
The December month always leads to parties, good food, lots of family and fun as we remember our Savior, His birth and sacrifice, and rededicate ourselves to becoming better this year! We are so happy to welcome in this New Year and all that it will hold for us. So Happy New Year to you all and we hope your happy and well. Lots of love!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

One LONG holiday post

Well here's our lovely tree. Isn't she a real beauty? Kathy gave us some adorable ornaments this year and decorations. It's hard with a real tree since they have so many holes and uneven spots. I suppose she looks pretty good tho. Brandon put all the lights on and I deemed him the official light putter on-er from here on out since I hate that part. But he accepted.
My mom got us some tickets to the David Archuleta concert, you actually had to win them like a lottery or something since so many people requested them. But let's just say that 13 year old Jennica was a little more excited than I was. We seriously had to wait in a line that wrapped around the entire building....and you know it wasn't to see the Mo Tab. But it was actually so lovely, we really enjoyed it. It kicked off Christmas right ya know. Here we are freezin our booties off in lines.
Christmas is here!! And isn't this really whats it's all about? These cute kiddos acted out the nativity and it was simply adorable. I remember being Mary myself...actually I didn't even graduate until I was about 16! I love getting to celebrate with Gramma Watkins otherwise I'd miss the tradition.
For the NEXT party on Christmas Eve we went back to my parent's house. We had a lovely dinner, gift exchange, and played out Christmas chimes. Then we got to watch my favoritest movie of all time!! "It's a Wonderful Life" Makes me cry every time. It was so nice just being with family today and especially not having to work! And I love that we got to celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas day!
You can see we are LOVIN Christmas this year!!
Brandon was so excited this year because he drew Austin's name and knew just went to get him. Austin love DP more than anyone loves anything so Brandon got him a shirt and stash. Austin was actually stoked!!
Poor dad just turned 50 and can't see anymore. He entertained us carrying around his flashlight all night to read everything.
Here we are talkin to Kaylie. Oh how I miss her. And secretly soooo happy to hear that she's NOT extending so she'll be home in about 3 months! We also got to talk to Bryan and he's doing so great!
We spent Christmas at the Duffin's for our NEXT party. It was lots of fun too. This year we created "Duffin's top 10" We all cast in votes for highlights of the year and Dave and Kathy made a hilarious top 10. My favorites include "We find out Brandon has a brain"(since he graduated college) and "Dave and Kathy can retire in peace" (since I graduated nursing school) and we all guess the event yada yada you get the idea. It was fun.
Kathy always cooks the most DELICIOUS meals and I overeat every time. This time was especially great and it may be partly due to how beautiful she makes everything. This is a glimpe of Christmas dinner but it's merely a glimpse of how pretty her house is at Christmas.
We had another fun gift exchange too, here's Brandon with his new Jazz flag...
Brad with his new mohawk for his snomobile helmet....
Greatest of all the new family fooseball table! Part of the fun was just putting it together. Don't you love that about Christmas...playing with new stuff and putting stuff together?
Here's Dave with his new helmet. It's actually a head massager. It looks so futuristic huh?
We're so grateful for family at this time of year. We're so blessed to get to be with them. And I'm grateful for this time of year to be able to reflect on the reason for this season. I'm grateful to be able to celebrate it and for what it means in my life.

The next day we were off to our NEXT party. My family went to a cabin up in the Timberlakes for a week to celebrate my dads 50th! What an old man sheesh. It included some fun fooseball tournaments and ping pong. Brandon is real great at is all, but then again I think he's good at everything...
Me and dad snomobiling on his birfday!
Could you guess that I'm the one in the pink?
And more snow than I've ever seen! We literally had to dig ourselves out!!!
A HUGE thanks to Ben for bringing up his sleds for us all to use. We couldn't have done it without ya.....and we had such a blast! 2 brothers....
and 2 friends....
I think I need to get away every year after Christmas just so I don't have to work! I just love being with Brandon and family and it was sooooo I mean sooooo crappy going back to work. But we thoroughly enjoyed the holiday. And stay tuned for a 2010 update next time. I have to say that cuz I'm sure you all think I'm such a slacker by new for never updating!