Sunday, November 27, 2011

Welcoming Winter...

We had such a fantastic Thanksgiving week.  After two days of hittin' the books and grinding out assignments, we cruised into five days of tranquility.  It all started with our trip to a cozy north Utah town called West Haven.  We arrived at the General's Resort (aka Aunt Vickie and Uncle Rod's place) Wednesday afternoon.  Our first (and only) order of business was to swap out our summer-fun tires for our winter-safe tires.  If you are wondering what this means, picture dozens of small metal stubs in all four tires that click against the asphalt when the roads are clear and grip the slippery black ice when they are treacherous.  We then, as we always do, cracked the cokes and played an amateur game of pool with Rod under dim-lit Brunswick lights.  This was followed by a pre-Thanksgiving dinner (just as nice and almost as big) and a movie.  Does Thanksgiving week start any better than that?

The next morning, we flopped out of bed at 10:30, laced up our tennis sneakers, and set out for the windy, leafy tennis courts at Mt. Ogden Park.  We were pretty intimidated because we had heard many stories about Uncle Rod and his fury on the court!  He's known for hittin the ball hard, and hittin it low.  After warming up and getting the ol' rusty bones ready to rock, we started our round robin tournament.  It quickly became evident that we were...well?  Certainly less than a worthy opponent.  We were honestly trying our hardest to hit the balls back to Rod but the gushing wind would drop them two inches from the net, leaving Rod a good 5 yard sprint away.  Not to mention the fact that three out of the four balls we were using were dead and had very little bounce to begin with.  It didn't take long to figure out just how he felt about our play.  Despite the weather and our malfunctioning gear, we had a great time and worked up an appetite for Thanksgiving Dinner.  What followed is what you would expect for a typical Thanksgiving day:  an amazing dinner that left us stuffed to the rafters, a two hour food coma, MORE food, and then our farewell.  We are so grateful to have such kind and thoughtful family so close and look forward to seeing them again.

If this trip is sounding too blissful to you, we'll have you know there was one minor hiccup in our plans. As we drove back to Provo we were engaged in a mini planning session when we realized we had left a backpack, and thus all school materials in Ogden.  This wouldn't have been such a nuisance if we were in kaysville, but since we were in Salt Lake City this folly tacked on 90 more minutes to our already 90 minute drive.  Woof!

The crowing jewel of our weekend had to be our two day get-away to Sundance Resort.  We enjoyed and chilly snowshoe hike, followed by a yummy dinner by the fire.  The atmosphere was surreal.  It seemed as if we were hundreds of miles away from home when in reality we were a mere 20 minute drive away.  We passed the rest of the night over card games, pass the pigs, Tim Tam Slammin', and a myriad of other fun activities all in the dancing light  of our cozy little fireplace.  It was so nice not to be distracted by cell phones, the internet, TV, and other empty forms of entertainment that yield very little satisfaction.  That night we fell asleep to the crackling of the fire.  It lulled us into one of the best nights of sleep we've had since we got married.
The next morning we woke up with the sun, and like all resort commercials advertise, sipped scalding apple cider from our back porch, overlooking the entire resort and beautiful Mt. Timpanogos.  After the warmth of our cider wore off, we slipped back into bed and dozed away two more blissful hours of sleep.  It was so wonderful.  The grind of a tough and busy semester makes short adventures like these so much more meaningful.  For us, it was just what we needed, when we needed it, to finish our semester on a good note.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Passing Seasons and Budding Traditions

There are two pretty significant steps happening in our lives this winter.  One is that Ryan will finish his football career at BYU.  Although it might not be sprinkled with awards and honors, Ryan is happy about the opportunities he's had to represent BYU on the field, learn from teammates and coaches, and get really sweet gear and bowl game gifts!  At times being apart from each other and enduring the lonesome weekends was miserable, but looking back on it all it's been a fun journey.  We look forward to much more time spent together come January, even though both our schedules will be littered with work and study commitments, but at least we'll have more time for each other on Friday's and Saturday's.

The next significant step is our first Christmas together and establishing new Folsom Family traditions.  It's going to be great!  We had a great discussion concerning our family traditions and strangely enough, they are mostly the same, at least when it comes to Christmas.  It was fun to recall Christmas experiences and what made them special, what brought the Spirit of the Season, and what particular parts we hold dear and can't wait to perpetuate with our future family.  Since we are both from the same town we've decided to treat our holidays like we are from different places.  We figure that will make both families happy, and if it doesn't, tough!  We'll do one holiday with one family and the other holiday with the other family.  This abbreviated Christmas we'll spend with the Folsoms and next Christmas we'll spend with the Thompsons.  We are lucky to have such great families to spend time with, look up to, and have fun with.  We are excited for the time when we have our own Christmas with our own little ones and establish our own traditions.  Luckily, we already have many traditions in common.  As we chatted the other day we realized our Christmas traditions are close to identical.  For example, on Christmas Eve each child opens one present and (when we were younger) all the kids sleep in the same room.  We usually sing hymns and read stories and reflect on the meaning of the season.  When we wake up, we eat breakfast first, line up youngest to oldest, and proceed to the family room.   We start with our stalkings first and divy out the presents.  Once everyone has their own little pile organized we open presents youngest to oldest, one by one.  That's quite a bit to have in common, right?  Granted we will combine some of our old family traditions, but we would like to create some of our own.  For example, we would like to adopt the idea of the advent.  Each Sunday leading up to Christmas we will do something special to celebrate the season and teach our family about the birth of Christ.

(P.S. writing these blogs can come so easy at times, but it can also be tough when you have a spell of writer's block.  Ryan and I sat on the couch and blitzed through some of this post and trudged through the rest.  We'll get better!)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Our Passport to Blog Country

You might be wondering, "Ryan, Lauren, what brings you to Blog Country?"  The answer is simple, Facebook.  Although facebook was a nice tool to keep in touch with old friends, it usually turned into a numbing pastime full of click-click-clicking through the pictures of complete strangers that not only we didn't know, but people we didn't have any intention of getting to know!  Therefore, we thought to ourselves, "Is there anything that can take the place of our facebook follies?"  The answer, Yes. How? Passport to Blog Country                                        

We figure that the people who really are our friends might like to read about what we're up to and what's making us happy.  We also see it as a fun way to throw a fun personal history into the ether, and one day our little ones will be able to recount the journeys of young folsom-family hood.

Hopefully this avenue of cyber time investment will provide more payoff than our pre-mentioned daily dose of scanning some other mystery person's photo gallery!