Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Years Eve 2011!...

This year for New Years Eve, Todd's brother Dr. Chris, and Cindy decided to throw a little shin-dig at their house since New Years Eve is also Dr. Chris's BIRTHDAY!  He's even older than Todd, believe it or not!  We are always glad when someone else in this family is brave enough to throw a party at their house.  We haven't thrown the party since we moved from the big house to this one--mostly because even after 3 months, we still haven't found a place for everything and this house is perpetually and inevitably messy--ALL THE TIME.  But, I digress...Chris and Cindy's party was so GREAT!  All the kids had their cousins there to hang out with, and the men brought boxes, and boxes, and boxes of fireworks!  The ones Todd got for his birthday were a drop in the bucket compared to Chris, and Kohn, and Greg's!  We had enough fireworks to keep them going for over an hour and a half!  I'm sure the neighbors (and their pets) were THRILLED with our family!  We ate, talked, and generally had a fabulous time with our family.  The couples also had a great time trying out Chris & Cindy's new tandem bike they got for Christmas--I HAVE to get me one of those.  So much fun!  Here are some pictures of our family bringing in the new year with a BANG!











Friday, December 30, 2011

Todd is 40! WOW!...

So, I remember a few years ago, Todd and I were talking about how crazy it was that we had friends (and brothers and sisters) that were "in their 40's".  Holy old!  When you think about leaving your 30's and entering your 40's, it feels pretty old, and I have to admit, it has come up on us pretty dang fast! This year has been a year of new beginnings, though, and it's fitting to have my husband officially begin his "middle age" years.  I'm just glad he gets to go first, and it's not me for a few years!  40, WOW, that's OLD!

Since I had already taken Todd to Guns & Roses for his birthday, we spent the day with the kids.  We got him a QT donut cake, and nearly sent the house up in flames trying to light the 40 candles!  That's a LOT of candles for a few donuts!  Luckily, he blew them all out pretty quick, and there was just a haze large enough to set off the smoke alarms in the house.  Also lucky (?) our smoke alarms are all sans battery at the moment--and have been for a month or two.  Gosh, we need to get that fixed--but first things first!









Todd opened up his gifts, and what would you suppose the kids wanted to get him?  FIREWORKS!  I have a feeling now that fireworks are legal in this great state of AZ, this will be an annual tradition!  I asked the kids to pitch in $10 of their own money for the big pack that was $60, and Josh says to me, "Can I give you $50 and get the big one for him myself?"  Haha, like father like son I guess.  We had a great time lighting all of the fireworks off on New Years Eve at Chris & Cindy's, and I'll tell you what, I don't think there's much that brings a boy (big or small) more joy than lighting something on fire, and watching it blow up!  The boys couldn't get enough of it!  I have pictures of that too...but those are for later.  That night, we went to Red Robin with the kids to celebrate, and live it up for the last few days before we start trying to eat right in the new year.  Not sure that is very effective--but what can I say?  It's a tradition!  I wanna wish this guy, the best husband and father in the world, a HAPPY 40th BIRTHDAY!  Thanks Todd, for being AMAZING, and for being YOU, and most of all for putting up with ME, and making me the happiest woman on earth (most of the time..haha)!  I love you sweetheart--live it up--before you know it, another 40 years will have come and gone!  OH MY!




Woo Woo!  The most handsome 40 year old around...and he's MINE!  Love you babe!  :)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy Birthday TODD...Guns & Roses Concert!...

For Todd's Birthday/Christmas present this year, I bought him Guns & Roses Tickets!  I have to admit, I was a little trepidatious about this date--I wasn't sure what to expect from this concert!  Back in the day, Guns & Roses was a pretty wild band--and their concerts were pretty wild too.  I was laughing thinking about Todd and I surrounded by a bunch of heavy metal rockers smoking pot & drinking heaven knows what.  I was also worried about what to WEAR!  Silly right?  But nothing in my closet seemed right for such an epic occasion!  Finally, after a couple of trips to the store, I found something I liked.  Todd, well, he wasn't worried about what to wear--smart guy.  As soon as I got there I was feeling silly for wanting to be stylish to go to a rock concert.  The girls there were wearing anything from something that looked like a bra under a jacket, to leather skin tight pants, to cut up T-shirts.  I settled for skinny jeans, hooker boots, big earrings, big hair, and too much make-up, an ode to the 80's (although I just couldn't bring myself to try to re-create 80's bangs...there's no going back to those)!  Here's a picture of us before we left for the concert...'




Isn't he just GORGEOUS!  Sheesh, I am one lucky girl!  Love that guy!  Anyhoo...we went to get some sushi for dinner from RA!, love that place, then headed out to Phoenix for the concert.  We got there around 8:30 which means the doors had been open for maybe 30 minutes, and the line was CRAZY to get in!  We parked in the parking garage right across the street from the venue, but had to seriously walk 6 blocks to find the end of the line to get in!  It was nuts!  I have to say, it was an interesting group of people.  The profanity was flying, and being like we are (never even watching rated R movies), I just wasn't used to it.  I was hoping that the whole concert wouldn't be that way, with the F-word flying left & right!  We finally got seated around 9:30, and Sebastian Bach from Skid Row was the opening act.  Talk about the F-word flying!  He was a little crazy!  He kept saying "Happy F-Ing New Year!"  Then while he was singing, he would lean over and whip his long hair back and forth while he swung his microphone around over his head. My favorite song was one of Skid Row's classic songs "I Remember You."  Here he is back in his glory days with Skid Row:  (now just picture him 20 years older, fatter, less hair, and lots more wrinkly).  Smokin'


Axl Rose, and Guns & Roses didn't actually come onstage until about 11:30, and when they came on, the crowd went WILD!  They sang until 2:30 a.m.--I have to say, it was an AWESOME show!  I didn't know every song like Todd did, but the music was great!  Axl, unlike the previous act didn't use any profanity, in fact, he didn't talk to the audience much at all--he just SANG.  And that guy can SING.  He has one of the most unique voices you have ever heard, and it is a great voice, just as good live as on CD.  He is an amazing performer, working the stage, and so musically gifted.  November Rain was my favorite--he is so amazing on the piano, and it is such a moving song.  Sweet Child Of Mine, Welcome to the Jungle, and Patience, along with Paradise City were my other favorite songs.  I came away loving another of his songs called "Night Train", it was awesome.  The best part of the concert was seeing the pure awe, and joy on my sweet husband's face as he enjoyed the concert.  He LOVED it, every minute, and I am so glad I bought the tickets & surprised him.  Surely, it's the best gift I've given him in 18 years of marriage (besides maybe his 6 children--but it might be a toss up). Here are some pictures from the concert.  I wish I would have brought a little point & shoot camera, but these were just taken from our phones before they both died--pretty crappy pics, I know.




And just for fun, here's You Tube video of Axl live in concert singing & playing "November Rain".  He may be old, but he's still amazing!

Now, compare that to Axl in his prime--1992 in Tokyo (you're gonna LOVE his outfit here!) This was while Todd was on his mission, and he was DYING to go!:
Awesome!  Happy 40th to my sweetheart--who will always be YOUNG at heart! You know what they say...you are only as old as you feel!  ROCK ON BABE!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Temple Lights with my Family ♥...

The day after Christmas, my parents came to visit, along with my sister Kimbie and her family.  It is always quite a crowd, with her 8 kids, and my 6, but they have so much fun together.  I am so glad they live close, I sure miss my other sisters at Christmas time--I think it's time to start planning a reunion for next Christmas--it's been too many years since we had our whole family together at Christmas!  They had a great time showing off their gifts, and playing with the new Wii games.  That night, after dinner, we went to see the Arizona Temple Christmas lights.  It is so beautiful there, and so much less crowded the days after Christmas, that we decided to make it our tradition to go the day after.  I love the spirit that I feel on the Temple grounds, and I love that even the smallest child runs a little slower, and feels a sense of reverence in that place.  The temple is truly one of my favorite places on Earth.  I love it there.  I got to try out my new camera, and most of the pictures turned out great.  Thanks mom & dad, and Kimbie & Christian for coming!  We love you guys!












Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011!...

This year, we put the presents under the tree in the family room, like usual, thinking Santa would follow suit, but he must've been in a real hurry, since he left the presents under the tree by the fireplace.  The kids were happy to have presents by BOTH trees to open! 


We opened up mom & dad gifts, and grandparents gifts first...Jack was NOT a happy camper, since most of those gifts were clothes.  Everytime he opened a pair of pants or a shirt, he would throw it and cry.  Nice, huh?  Then, he found a Wii game under there from Grandma & Grandpa Metzger, and it made it all better. 

 PRESENTS!!!...









Then, we moved into the living room to open SANTA GIFTS!  YAY!






 I bought Todd a GUN!  Don't worry...it's not loaded!  :)  He was so impressed! 
First time I ever bought something he liked! 





 This was Todd's Birthday/Christmas gift--Guns & Roses tickets!!!  They were in Phoenix 2 days after Christmas!  This is Todd's all time favorite band--but he was never allowed to see them in concert (wonder why?)...Haha.  He was really excited!
 AWESOME SEATS!  FRONT & CENTER!

Later that afternoon, after the mess was cleaned up, I set to work making our Christmas tradition, German Stollen.  (The recipe/tutorial is HERE...).  By the time I actually got around to doing the baking part, though, all the kids were sound asleep--so Ashlie was the only one who wanted to help me!  Thank goodness, she was there to help me, what a sweet girl! Don't you love her cute apron? Of course, Jack was there for moral support--but I wouldn't let him touch the food. Don't know where that guys hands have been these days!  Ha!   What a great day!  Have I mentioned that I LOVE CHRISTMAS!?  Well, I do.

 YUM!

Merry Christmas to ALL!  Hope 2012 treats you well!  :)
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