Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cory

Those four little letters just don't seem to be enough to express how deep my feelings are for this man.  I love him more than I think words could ever express.  He understands me in a way that I thought no one else ever could.  He gets my twisted, a little off, sense of humor.  He laughs at my stupid jokes.  He appreciates all my little quirks and mannerisms.  He hugs me in a way that makes the rest of the world disappear.  He looks at me with passion that lets me know he still loves me.  He is sensitive, kind, caring, open, honest, loving, and a thousand more things I can't put in to words.  And, most importantly, he lets me love him back.  Sure, we get on each others nerves.  What married couple doesn't?  But there is no one I would rather work things out with than this man I get to be married to.

Cory's birthday this year is in the midst of the crazy week between Christmas and New Years when we have his kids and parents here staying with us.  We celebrated by playing around with his kids all day, and having store bought cheesecake for dessert after dinner.  Not too much of a celebration, but regardless of the outward celebration, there was a lot of inward stuff going on inside me.  My mom used to always tell us on our birthday "I'm glad you were born", and looking at him I can understand exactly what she was feeling.  I am very glad Cory was born.  Not only that he is alive now and that by some miracle our paths finally crossed, but that he was born to the parents he was and lived the life that he lived to make him the person he is today.  I couldn't imagine my life without him, and I'm so glad I get to call him "mine."

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas to all...

So, I'm sitting here in my bed reveling in the aftermath of quite the holiday tantrum.  I've never really been much of a "holiday spirit". I have a real issue with holidays, and all the stress and stuff that comes with them.  Add that to the fact that I spent the last two days in the car, and can't be my typical "anti-social" self that comes with the holidays, because we are entertaining Cory's kids and his parents.  For NINE whole days.  I love family, but when mama's gonna throw a fit, it's going to happen regardless of whether or not people are here.  I was hoping we could at least make it to our one year anniversary before they saw the true gem of a daughter-in-law they've been blessed with. 

The holidays started simply enough.  Cory and I were lucky enough to arrange our schedules to be able to have the last two weeks of the year off, and only have to take five days of PTO.  It's Cory's year for Christmas with his kids, so we made plans to have them here with us.  This is where life got a little complicated.  We don't exactly have the money to drop for 4 round trip tickets to California and back, so we decided to drive to California to pick up the kids.  Cory's parents came down a few days early to stay with Phillip (as Lexie and Mae Mae were still in Michigan) and we headed out on the LONG drive to CA.  We did the best planning we could.  Cory mapped it out every which way, and after talking to a few people we decided the best plan was going over Donner's pass. 

We headed out the morning of the 23rd (and when I say morning I mean MORNING!!  Cory had been up since three and was nice enough to let me sleep in until 5:30) and the majority of the drive wasn't that bad.  We made it to Reno in about seven hours, and all the maps said Placerville shouldn't be "that far" beyond Reno.  We learned it's "not far" if you are a native Californian who doesn't mind whipping around curvy roads like they're nothing.  We drove for about two hours on the windiest road I have ever seen.  Even Cory commented how bad it was.  Who's the carsick queen?  I am!  Top that off with getting locked in one of the NASTIEST gas station bathrooms I've ever seen after walking in on some Chinese guy who forgot to lock the door when he went in.  Score!

We finally made it to our hotel about 6:30, and checked in.  I had made reservations in advance at a hotel that was about 5 miles away from the kids so we could pick them up and be on our way first thing in the morning.  Unfortunately, we forgot that "first thing in the morning" to lovely ex is somewhere between nine and ten.  Cory called her, and convinced her to meet us at eight (her time, nine our time) so we could make the long drive back.  We took a shower (both of us felt like we were crawling in filth, seriously some of the worst bathrooms I've ever seen) and both of us were asleep by about eight thirty. 

The next morning, we got up and got ready.  We were running a little late, so I went without doing my final "hotel room" walk through that I've always done, sure that since we had only been there overnight and only had one little bag with us that there was no way I could have forgotten something.  WRONG.  I forgot my pillow.  Good thing we're going back to the same hotel when we take the kids back home in a week.  We met lovely ex and kids in the McDonald's parking lot right down the street from the hotel, and after a twenty minute exchange of "sign this, pay that" we were on our way.  We stopped to fill up, and headed out of town.  We had made the decision when we were planning the trip to buy an in-car DVD player for the kids.  Hands down, BEST investement ever.  Even with that, the kids still got stir crazy and we had to stop the car about every three hours to let them run around.  The drive home took twelve hours.  We finally got in at nine last night, Lexie had flown in from Michigan earlier that day, and we were finally together as a family.

We hurried and got the kids to bed, did our Christmas stuff, and then sat around talking to Cory's parents until close to midnight.  The kids were up at six.  I've never been the type of person to do well on little sleep.  Add that to the 24 hours in the car over the last two days and double the amount of kids in the house.  Sprinkle in a little "I have to be on my best behavior" that comes when Cory's family is in town, and you've got the perfect recipe for disaster.  And then, genius that I am, I got the idea that I was going to attempt to make Christmas dinner for all of us.  It wasn't anything major:  roast, green been casserole, mashed potatoes, and sour cream salad.  Well, I forgot to do the sour cream salad last night.  I had never made a roast before.  I had never had to time so many things to come out at the same time.  And Cory's kids wouldn't touch any of it.  Cory's mom now thinks I'm an idiot in the kitchen (she ended up making most of the dinner) and right as we sat down to dinner I ended up yelling at Cory and storming upstairs to my room.  I've been here for going on five hours now. 

Tell me, what is the proper etiquette when you've embarrassed yourself in front of extended family and still have them staying with you for the next week?  This is something I've never encountered before.  Also, at what point am I ok to go downstairs and eat something for dinner?  I'm interested to see if anything I attempted turned out edible, although judging from my cooking experiences in the past, I doubt it.  We'll see if there's anything left tomorrow, or if they just threw it all away.  For now, I'm thinking sleep is my best option.  Hopefully things will be better tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Who needs to make a plan?

So things may not always go exactly as planned, but that's not a bad thing right?  Cory and I had planned on going up to Teton Valley for Thanksgiving, but the universe seemed to be acting against us.  Monday morning, my parents informed us that they had heard on the news that Tuesday night/Wednesday morning we were going to have a huge blizzard.  The news people were announcing it as "the blizzard of the century" and "the worst snowstorm we've seen in twenty-five years".  We weren't sure what to do.  Part of us still wanted to go, but at the same time we knew it probably wasn't a very good idea.  I have lived in Utah my whole life, and I've seen what the Utah snow storms are capable of.  Driving in the snow scares the crap out of me.  Long story short, we decided to wait until Wednesday to make a decision, and see what actually happened.  All the weather reports seemed to be saying that the snow was supposed to let up early Wednesday morning, and stop by mid-morning.  Tuesday afternoon, our building decided to close down early and let people go home so they wouldn't be stuck in the snow.  We took advantage, and came home to pack.  Cory is comfortable driving in the snow, so unless the storm was really bad we were still going to  try to go.

The storm was set to start at 6:00.  On our way home from work we filled up the gas tank (because they are all electric and in case the power went out we wanted to make sure our car had a full tank) got food (mostly junk because, hey, this is us) and got some firewood and long matches (for heat and such).  We picked up the kids, and headed home.  Lexie was all freaked out about the blizzard, not really knowing what it is, and she just knew something bad was coming and she was scared.  We explained to her that the blizzard was just a lot of snow, and everything would be fine.  She kept saying "I want to see the blizzard."  I told her "Look out the window, it's snowing.  That's a blizzard."  The blizzard really didn't seem like much.  Honestly, I was expecting a lot worse.  I think everyone else was too.  The blizzard was pretty much a bust.  What wasn't a bust, however, was the downright FREEZING temperatures that came with it.  Highs in the single digits, and lows below zero.  But, our car has heat, so Wednesday morning off to Idaho we went.  We had decided in advance not to take the kids with us.  They would be staying with Mae Mae at her apartment.  This made me feel a little better, because then if something happened we wouldn't have to worry about them getting too cold or too hungry.  We dropped them off, and were on the road.

I love traveling with Cory.  He is so much fun, and we have the best conversations.  I was really excited for just an "us" weekend.  We were joking around on way up there about the "blizzard" and what a bust it had turned out to be.  The roads were clear and pretty much dry, and it was cold but the traveling conditions weren't that bad.  Then we hit the Idaho border.  I did not realize that Utah uses salt on the roads, and Idaho uses sand..  I'm not a fan of sand.  All sand does is sit on top of the snow and provide traction until it is all flipped off the road by the cars driving over it.  It took me a little while to get comfortable with the idea that the roads weren't bad, just different, and Cory had grown up driving in it, so he knew what he was doing.  We continued driving, up until a little past Blackfoot.  That is where all traffic stopped.  We started calling people we knew in the area to have them check the road conditions and see if they could tell us what was going on and where.  Kell was able to find a report online of a massive rollover accident about 15 miles ahead of us.  At the rate we were going, it would take us about three hours to get past it.  On top of that, the sun was setting and we did not want to attempt the last 35 miles to his parents house in the dark.  We could have gone to Cory's sister's house in Rexburg, but even that was at least a couple of hours away.  We decided that the best idea was to get off the road and get a hotel room and go the remaining way in the morning. 

We got off the freeway, navigated some very interesting back roads (VERY good thing there wasn't any other traffic) and made it to Idaho Falls.  Cory knew where a hotel was that one of his friends had worked at in high school, and it shared a parking lot with a movie theater and Texas Roadhouse.  We figured we could go to dinner, go see a movie, and then sleep in the hotel.  We pulled in to the parking lot of the hotel, and there was not a car in sight.  I went in to talk to the clerk, and he gave me the price for a two queen bed room.  It was a little more than we had planned on spending, but after talking about it we figured we could skip the movie (gotta love free cable) and they served a free hot breakfast in the morning, so we'd save some money there.  We went in to get a room, and began having a conversation with the desk clerk.  He asked us if there were any kids with us, and we told him not for the weekened.  He asked if we were just getting away, and we told him not exactly, we were just trying to get to family for the weekend and weren't planning on stopping. 

Cory noticed they had a pool, and said "Ooh, a swim would be nice."  I reminded him we didn't have our swim suits, and the clerk said "You won't need them.  Let me know what you think when you get to your room."  We were a little confused, until we got to our room and opened the door.  The door opened in to a cute little living room with a couch, coffee table, TV, and fireplace.  Beyond that, there was a simple bathroom, a little breakfast nook with a mini-fridge and microwave, and a doorway.  Through the doorway was a MASSIVE king-size bed, another TV, vaulted ceilings, and a huge picture window.  Up the stairs from the living room was a loft with a full-size jacuzzi tub, and another TV.  The room was gorgeous.  We went back downstairs, told the clerk thank you, and headed out to dinner.

We pulled in to the Texas Roadhouse parking lot (after a minor detour) and right in front of us was a huge banner, advertising a 11 oz sirloin steak for 10.99, one of Cory's favorites.  It was turning in to a REALLY good night.  We went in, had an amazing dinner, and then went back to the hotel.  We relaxed, spent some time in the jacuzzi, and then went to bed.  Cory said the next morning that it was the best he had slept in a really long time.  The bed was SO comfortable.  The next morning, we took showers, packed up, and went down to have breakfast.  I'm used to hotel breakfasts that are a couple stale muffins and some warm milk.  This was potatoes, bacon, eggs, bagels, cereal, orange juice, milk.  It was amazing. 

We got back on the road at 11:00 (complete with a temperature of 3), and made it to the valley at a little before 1:00.  We got to spend the rest of the weekend with the family.  Andrew, Tess, and Clara were able to come down from Boise, we spent lots of time just hanging out, ate a TON of good food, and got very little sleep.  Honestly, I got pretty good sleep, but Cory didn't sleep much at all.  It was an amazing weekend, and I'm so glad we went.  I could have done without the LONG SCARY drive home, but I wouldn't trade the weekend for anything, especially since I didn't have to drive.  :-)