Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas celebrations

We started off the holiday celebrations with Ben's work party at Wadley Farms. So much fun! Great food, fun ugly sweaters and a crazy white elephant party.  I just can't compete with his ugly sweater, so I didn't try.

Claire's preschool Christmas program was so cute. She sang and smiled her heart out. 

Love our Nativity. Complete with a star!

Breakfast at iHop.

We went to City Creek on Saturday the 21st and luckily got in line before anyone else was there! Once we were finished and getting some food, the line was a mile long out in the cold. We were lucky. Alex was totally content on Santa's lap and Claire wouldn't get near him :( Better luck next year. 

That evening was the Kendell side party. Great job planning, Aunt Cathy! Yummy homemade Cafe Rio followed by a bunch of fun games. My grandma is always the life of the party, participating in every game, including getting bonked on the head by a newspaper, having jello dropped into her mouth, and piggy back rides! 

Monday night was the Johansen Christmas get-together at Temple Square this year. We ate at J&B's and walked around to see the lights (along with everyone else in Utah). It was fun!

My cute Christmas kiddos.

Christmas Eve morning we made our famous gingerbread houses.

Mine was a trailer. I love it.

Ben's was a snowman Nativity:

Anna's was intense and amazing!

That evening we went to Ben's mom's house for dinner, opening presents and fun with pipe cleaner:) Videos from my phone soon...

Christmas morning we were going to Skype with James back at our own house via conference call, but I got a bad feeling and nervous that we'd miss it... so we stayed and talked to him with everyone. It was SO. MUCH. FUN. Miss and love that kid.

Saturday after Christmas, Jon and Jaclyn flew in and we celebrated with them.  Celebrated a NEW BABY!!! YAY! So happy for Jon and Jac.

Then we had a blast sledding.

We came home to a leaking fridge, causing the downstairs ceiling to leak from every light. Bummer. Welcome to home ownership.

But that's okay. All is well. We had a great time for the holidays. New Years was spent at our house (I wasn't feeling well) and reading in bed and lights out by 10pm! PARTY ANIMALS!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Nan's 80th Party

For Ben's grandma's 80th birthday, we all helped plan a surprise party a week early. We got her out of the house, all of us in, and then surprised her when she drove back. It worked perfectly and her reaction was so cute (see video).  Lots of fun, food, and laughs. We watched slides of her life and celebrated HER. She is one of the sweetest, most genuine people I know. We love her dearly.

Even Jon and Jaclyn flew in for the special day!

Big Rock Candy Mountain full of secret hidden surprises! 

Love you, Nan! 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Back when we were in Vegas for our Anniversary (here), we saw signs up for Justin Timberlake coming in November. I said, "That would be so awesome," but brushed it off. Then we ran into some salesmen for Grandview timeshares and they sold us on 2 free nights back at the Venetian in the next 6 months (if we listened to their 2-3 hour schpeel... which we've done before) -- so we said 'heck yes' and let's do JUSTIN!  So we bought tickets to JT, used our free flights and were set to go. We didn't know at the time that November 29th would be the weekend of Thanksgiving... but all worked out and we spent a quick 1.5 days down there and had a BLAST at his concert! 

I've been to a lot of concerts, but I don't think I've ever been this close to the stage (and floor):

He sang 32 songs (CRAZY AMOUNT!), danced like a pro and sang his heart out. So did we. 

The awesome moving stage brought him literally 20 feet in front of us and stopped. We were so lucky!  Here is a video of some of my favorite parts (for those fellow JT-lovers who want to watch 8 minutes of him).   

SO. MUCH. FUN. Thanks to Ben for being the best husband ever.