Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Some things I love at Christmastime

There are so many good things this time of year! Here are some of my favorites:

1. Everyone's a little nicer. People say hello or thank you or Merry Christmas. It's just NICE. Yes, there are crabby people out there. But since I've done very little shopping this season I haven't had to run into very many of them, so I still can think that most people are happy.

2. We get to hear wonderful Christmas messages from the leaders of our church. I love the Christmas Devotional! It reminds me that all of the wonderfulness of this season is to celebrate the birth of the Savior of the World. And people throughout the whole world come together to remember and celebrate. It's amazing.

3. Christmas cards! I love getting Christmas cards. Anyone's Christmas cards. I open the mail at work, and I love it when the cards come in. I don't even have to know the people. I love the family pictures and the updates. I mean, it's far better when I get to read a card from someone I know, of course. I love that my mom saves all the family cards so that I can read them when I come home. It's just a nice way of staying in touch.

4. Music! I'm one of those cheese-balls who listens to Christmas music as much as I can during the holidays. And, as much fun as much of the music is, I have found myself drawn more to the sacred music the past few years. I love that popular radio stations can and will play songs rejoicing in the birth of our Savior. It's wonderful! I do still love the lighter music as well. This is my current favorite version of the 12 Days of Christmas. (Don't worry - it's not too long, and it's awesome!)

5. Food. Specifically baked goods. There's going to be a major withdrawl/detox period come January 1st. But for now I'm just taking in every bit of it. :)

That's all for now. I'm sure I'll be back with more things that I love about this time of year.

Adventures 2011

I need some help.

I am starting to put together an actual list for 2011 of different adventures I'd like to go on. But I'd like to hear if anyone has any ideas for me.

What do you think?

I also need a new word for adventure. I mean, it still does the trick, but I'm feeling the need for something new. I checked the thesaurus, but nothing jumped out at me. Thoughts?

Friday, December 10, 2010

My Family = Awesomeness

Sometimes I come up with crazy plans for my family.

Most of the time these plans are dismissed and we all move on.

BUT...This Thanksgiving one of my plans stuck.

In one of my hair-brained schemes, I came up with a Thanksgiving family fun run. In fact, I called it the "1st Ever Harlow Family Run Before You're Hungry." I even had some super amazing t-shirts made.

And everyone jumped on board. People actually thought this was a good idea!

And guess what? We had a great time!

We started and ended at my dad's school. He set up a banner for us and even had a starter's pistol and water bottles. So we ran through the neighborhood (some ran farther than others) in our matching shirts and had a great start to the day.

Thanks, family, for being so awesome and having fun with my crazy plans!

Get ready for next year! :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

How Did I Survive?

How did I ever survive winters in places other than California?

I'm currently sitting in my heated office with my coat on - FREEZING!!! Most mornings I fill a cup with hot water, wrap my hands around it until it's cool enough to sip and then drink plain hot water to warm me up.

And we've only hit freezing (literally) temperatures maybe once this year.

How in the world did I live for so many years in places like Utah and The Netherlands?! I know that winter wind blowing right off the North Sea was infinitely colder than the valley fog, so where did all my toughness go?

I may have to get out the "couch sack" tonight. :)

P.S. I am officially against the little oranges that look like they are going to be nice and sweet and turn out to be somewhat sour and full of seeds.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Adventure: Kings Game (with REALLY good seats!)

Once upon a time my boss couldn't use his tickets to a Kings game. Since he is so generous, he offered them to me, and I found three friends (Kristin, Sean, and Ariane) to come with me to the game. It was a dark and stormy night, but our spirits were high as we drove our car straight to the front of the lot with our "H preferred" parking pass. We shook off any chill of the night air by taking a long walk down, down, down the stairs to our seats that were a mere seven rows from the court.

Sitting this close, we realized that these are BIG men who play the game of basketball!

This is the woman assigned to take our orders. Yes, these were the special seats that come with your own menu and serving staff. Though we didn't order anything, it was nice to know that we could. :)

In the end, we got free thunder sticks, cheered loudly, and the Kings won. And we went home happily ever after. The end.

Adventure: Disneyland

Whew! I'm behind in posting, and this has been an adventure-full season. So...Here we go.

The weekend before Halloween, some friends and I decided to take a weekend trip to Disneyland. I think that one word can describe the weekend: whirlwind. But a fun whirlwind. :)

Ariane, Dustin, Chris, Nicole, and I left Sacramento at about 6 pm on Friday, arriving at our hotel at...well - it was late. But don't you worry! We were buying our tickets by 7:45 am Saturday morning so that we could go in right when the park opened. This was a very smart move, because we got on several popular rides before the crowds really got started.

Long story short: We spent 16 hours at Disneyland & CA Adventure and did 30 rides/attractions. I have never spent that many hours at a theme park in one day. It was exhausting, but incredibly fun. My only regret is that we didn't get to go on Peter Pan. Otherwise it was a great trip. Thanks friends!

Since we used our fast passes so efficiently, we really only waited in one long line, and that was for Toy Story. But it's such a fun ride that it was worth it. Here are Chris, Nicole, Ariane, and Dustin in front of the talking (and joking) Mr. Potato Head.

Dustin and Nicole are ready for the Toy Story challenge. Dustin had the high score on this ride thanks to his cross-fit training, but I came in 2nd.

Here's the group at the end of the day. Do any of us have that crazy I've-been-at-a-theme-park-for-more-hours-than-I've-slept-in-the-past-two-nights look? 'Cause we should. :)

Hooray for Disneyland!