Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Life in Kirksville: Week 28

WE FINALLY KNOW WHERE WE ARE GOING FOR ROTATIONS! 


So confession time. I'd been doing quite a bit of research on Arizona housing even before we found out where we'd be sent for rotations. I'd say most of my free time was spent researching neighborhoods and apartments! When the news came that we're getting sent to Phoenix for rotations, I was happy that all my time doing research wasn't going to go to waste. :) We were also pretty excited we got Phoenix because 1) It means we're escaping snowy winters, 2) It means we are closer to family, and 3) It means we get to try out living someplace new! I think I would have been happy if we were getting sent to Provo too (there are a lot of pros to going there), but Arizona was our top choice and we are both really happy about it! YAY! I also emailed the wife of a student who is doing his rotations in Phoenix - just to get some advice on where a good location would be to live (someplace pretty central to all the sites the student gets sent to). She also gave me a lot of info on what 3rd year of med school is like and I am feeling way more at ease about going into next year. All of her information was extremely helpful and I feel so much peace about going to Arizona. 


This past week we celebrated 7 months of marriage. We're still very much in love. I know it's a common thing to hear that the first year of marriage is hard, but I haven't really felt that. Sure, there are some days that are harder than others, but that's mostly when my anxiety is getting the best of me. Jonathan is always so patient and loving and kind - I'm so lucky. Being married does introduce a bunch of new things that could be seen as challenges. Things like sharing money. Money can be a pretty stressful thing, but the thing I've been learning is to not be so uptight about it. Sure, I might see the $6 or $7 we spend on soda every week as a waste, but the $6 or $7 I spend on craft supplies could be looked at as a waste too. Also, I'm learning the importance of choosing not to overreact about things. If you know me, you know that I was SUPER protective of my car. Well since getting married our car has gotten a few dents, scratches, and stains. But you know what? It's just a car. A car that we'll replace one day. My relationship with Jonathan is something that is worth WAY more than a car, and it will last for eternity! So in summary, I think being married takes work (because sometimes it might take effort to think outside yourself), but I don't think it's hard. It's only hard if you make it hard.

Alvin has been growing so much lately. We like to say he was born on our wedding day (he's about 7 months now), and it's crazy to think back at how little he was when we first got him. He's turning into a cat now. His little kitten face is filling out and his body is just getting bigger. He's definitely developing more of a personality. He's a funny cat. I found him asleep like this:


Oh, and he snores. hahah it's hilarious.

I think my favorite part from last week was our trip to Nauvoo on Saturday. One thing that will be nice about living in Phoenix is we will be close to THREE temples (Phoenix, Gilbert, and Mesa)! Right now our closest temple is Nauvoo, which is a 2 hour drive. Although I am excited about the convenience of moving closer to a temple, I have to admit I will miss going to the Nauvoo temple. I LOVE the spirit of Nauvoo and the history there. I also like the drive there from Kirksville - there's no traffic (or any cars, really...haha), and the rolling hills have a charm to them that I'll miss. But mostly I'll miss how a trip to the temple is kind of an all day thing. Because we spend most of the day either driving or in the temple, it's easier to keep the spirit with me. When you live 10 minutes away, it's easy to fall back into the routine of a typical day and you don't really have the experience of basking in the spirit afterwards. It's kind of hard to explain, but I'm just really trying to soak up the remainder of our temple trips to Nauvoo while we're still living out here.


Oh, and side note - it was our first time being the witness couple this time that we went! That was a cool experience! I think my favorite part about it though was it meant I got to spend more time with Jonathan, haha. Normally during a temple session the men and women are sitting on different sides of the room. But because we were the witness couple, we didn't have to stay separated the whole time. Also, while we were there I sat next to a sister who was receiving her own endowment (which means she was going through the temple for the first time). I reflected back to my first time going through the temple and was thinking about all the times I've been since. We've made it a goal to go once a month and I really hope we continue to do that. I love the temple. It truly is a refuge from the world. The spirit is so strong there and I just feel so much peace. I know there was a point where I used to have no desire to go through the temple, and now I wish I could go back and just tell my old self how amazing the temple is. How there's nothing to be afraid of. How positive of an experience it is.

It has been a good week, my friends. And I love having this family tree in our living room now (see below) because even though it's just pictures of parents and grandparents, I still feel the spirit. I think it's because the gospel is so focused on families. Every time I look up at this wall and follow the branches, I think about how incredibly awesome it is that we can be SEALED FOR ETERNITY to our families. Doesn't family make you happy? Mine makes me happy. And the gospel teaches us how to be happy, so it doesn't surprise me one bit that there is so much focus in the church on the family unit. THE CHURCH IS TRUE! If you have any doubts, spend more time strengthening your relationship with family members. And work towards being temple worthy so you can enjoy the peace and feel the spirit that dwells there.


Thus concludes another week in Kirksville. :)


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Life in Kirksville: Week 27

We've lived in Kirksville for 27 weeks?! What! When did that even happen....

You know, I never in a million years thought I'd be living in Missouri. It's so...random. Jonathan and I have been taking geography quizzes lately (we're nerds, I know) and every time Missouri pops up or I see it on a map I pause and think - woah, we live there. I guess where I grew up in the West and went to college there, it's kind of a surreal thought that I'm in the midwest. This side of the US was always so foreign to me - especially because growing up we never ventured past Colorado. And now I can say in the last 27 weeks I've been to a good chunk of the midwest states and even some southern states. Sometimes I feel like this is all a dream. Our plans are to move back West, so years down the road I'm sure life in Kirksville will seem like a blur and I'll question if it was real. 

Last week... well Monday was interesting. The previous day was my birthday and Jonathan got a text from this guy Brian saying, "Hey, wish your wife happy birthday for me". He responded and asked Brian if he wanted to come over and have cake with us. He said he couldn't make it, so Jonathan then asked if he wanted us to drop him off a piece the following day. After agreeing to it, we found ourselves getting ready to stop by Brian's on Monday afternoon. Right before we left, Jonathan double checked the address and realized it was a different Brian than he had originally thought. Turns out the Brian that texted him wasn't one of his school buddies, but was this guy that is in our ward who we've given rides to a few times. What you should know about Brian is he is a very nice and sweet guy, but has some mental disabilities which disable him from being able to do a lot of things on his own.

Although we thought we were going to be visiting school friend Brian, we still decided to visit Brian from our ward and give him the cake we promised him. We went to his apartment and my heart felt a little sad for him because he was telling us how he has been pretty lonely lately and how he hasn't dared go outside because he's not very stable and doesn't want to slip on the ice. He kept saying things like, "come over anytime!" Something else he kept saying was, "so, do you have any news for me??" When we kept saying no, he finally bluntly asked, "No news of a baby?" I almost laughed out loud. This is the first time we've been asked so directly when we're going to have a baby. I said there were no babies coming anytime soon, and he made me promise to tell him once we found out. He also legitimately threatened Jonathan. He said something along the lines of, "If you don't take good care of her, you'd better watch out. I'll come after you." I was a little flattered how protective he was, and also secretly scared for Jonathan's sake.haha

It's really looking like winter out here. Snow and ice. It's also really cold and I'm feeling grateful for having a job I can do from home. We went on a short walk to get a picture at this spot we've taken a photo at once each season and I was so miserably cold in just those 10 minutes. I've felt cold winters before, but I'm telling you the humidity here does something. I really thought my nose and ears were going to fall off when we posed for this picture.


Teaching this week was more or less a nightmare. The BYU class is finally available, but they made all kinds of changes to the course. It's probably too complicated for me to explain it accurately on here, and let's face it - I'll probably bore you trying to describe it. But just know that I'm 27% frustrated, 35% stressed out, and 38% overwhelmed. I miss the relationship I had with my old students, I'm tired of the constant technical issues this semester, and I am not sure how much longer I can fly by the seat of my pants (what a funny expression) each class period. I like my job, really I do, and am very grateful for it. I'm just wishing I could push fast-forward on time right now though because I hate not knowing what's going on. 

Jonathan was pretty busy this last week because he had a block exam around the corner. He spent lots of days studying with his friend Nick either at our place or at his. I am glad he has study buddies because I know it helps him stay on track and helps him feel prepared. I have no idea what they're talking about when I hear them study, but I admire how hard he works and it's paying off - he is doing well! 

I loved date night this week!! It was art related! There were two parts to the date. The first thing we did was each take turns being blindfolded. Jonathan was the first up. I took pieces of tape and labeled each paint color at random. I told him to paint a dream kitchen and he would select a paint number, I'd dip the paint brush for him, and he'd work on his masterpiece. Then to finish it off, he signed his name. Then we switched roles and he mixed up the paint numbers and told me to paint a Pikachu. It was pretty funny.





Part two was to take our art a little more seriously. We thought it would be fun to color some canvases with oil pastels. Jonathan got really into it and I have to admit I was very surprised how good his turned out.haha I had a hard time thinking of what I wanted to make, but I was pleased enough with the result. I definitely need a lot more practice with pastels, but they were fun to work with! I especially liked the blending process, which took our creations to a whole new level.



If I am being 100% honest, last week was kind of a rough week. Both of us were pretty stressed out and it just kept building up. I felt like I didn't even accomplished a quarter of the things on my to do list, which was discouraging. But at least we survived the week. And I know there will be more rough weeks and stressful weeks ahead. I think the important thing is we keep moving forward. In my opinion the two worst things you could possibly do when life is blowing up in your face is 1) turn away from God, and 2) turn away from your spouse. When life tries to drown me, I feel like turning TO God and Jonathan are the only ways I can keep sane and alive. Sometimes I forget that. And I'm working on being better at remembering. I'm just grateful for their patience and unconditional love for me.


This picture cracks me up. Alvin's expression is just priceless! 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Life in Kirksville: Week 26

I'm going to organize this post via categories, because that's kind of how my brain is working right now. Seriously, I've felt so scatterbrained lately; the only way I can keep track of anything right now is by making lists...

Ology:

My online class this semester has been very wacky. I've been having crazy weird internet issues that I've never had before! And teaching in the evening is hard for me. I'm tired and I'm sad I can't look out the window. I'm always rushed to eat dinner too because class starts at 6pm my time. And I don't finish till 8:45!!! And then I've got to do documentation and send emails and things, so I usually am done with work at 9:15 or so. Also, the lighting is terrible in the evenings and I have to crank up the brightness on my laptop screen so I can actually see. I've had to wear contacts rather than glasses to avoid the awkward reflection that happens from upping my screen's brightness.

Also, the way Ology works is we teach a BYU course. And unfortunately the BYU course has been unavailable lately. This throws off all our lesson plans and due dates, so I've just been winging things lately.

In other news though, I've been trying to change up my lesson plans and change the way I teach certain concepts. It's going pretty well I think! It's so tempting to just teach things how I've been for the last 3 years, but I'm learning that there is value is revisiting lesson plans. It's especially been good to adapt to each class because every student has different strengths and weaknesses in math, and it's good to cater to those.

I got final word that our sister company doesn't need me to teach classes for them this semester. I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, I was looking forward to learning a new course and the additional hours and staying busier. On the other hand, I was getting very stressed because I hadn't heard any word until literally the day before classes started. Maybe some people can perform well last minute or procrastinating, but I'm not that person. I need to have plenty of time to plan things out. I was stressed about not having any training and so secretly it was a bit of a relief that I didn't end up having to worry about it.

I also got word that I'll be getting to do data analysis again this semester! With the BYU course issues, there has been a little bit of a delay as far as data I can actually collect. But I am grateful for the opportunity I have to get to do data analysis again. The last 3 weeks or so I've been doing a summary report on everything I collected last semester. It's kind of fun and interesting to see what the results are. So I'm excited to do it another semester. :)

Piano: 

I finally started piano lessons back up again. It had been about a month since our last lesson, haha. With the 2 week break, and then me being sick for a week, and then something coming up for them the following week, it had been awhile... But despite that, she remembered a lot! I don't think I would actually choose to teach piano lessons again because I don't really feel that confident in my ability to teach piano, but I'm learning to like teaching piano to this student more and more. She's a sweet little girl and well behaved, so lessons always go fine. It's nice that we're only here till June too because I don't have to worry about her moving on to harder lessons that I wouldn't be able to teach. It's nice that we just stick with some of the basic things.

Church: 

Primary callings are awesome. I could probably just leave it at that. On Sunday we finished Sharing Time early during Senior Primary and so we opened it up to a little testimony meeting. So many of the kids jumped up to bear their testimony and it melted my heart a bit. I love their sweet spirit.

Crafts: 

My brain has had a hard time thinking of winter crafts. I cut some paper snowflakes, and then gave up on winter crafts. I decided to just do other sort of crafts for our bookshelf.

Here's an idea I grabbed from Pinterest:
This was really easy. I took some cardboard we had lying around and cut out the W. Then I took some glue I had and drew that swirly decoration/pattern. Let it dry overnight. Then I wrapped the W in tin foil and smoothed it out. To finish it off, I painted a thin layer of shoe polish over it and then put Mod Podge over the whole thing.

I have a few other projects in the works. One is a 'Family Tree' (inspired by my recent family history kick). I got some frames and printed out several pictures (one of me and Jonathan, one of my parents, one of his parents, and then one for each set of grandparents). I have grand plans to cut a tree out of construction paper and put the pictures on the wall, but we'll see if I can turn my vision into a reality. Sometimes things look better in my head...

My other idea is to just make a simple wooden sign. I found a small board at Walmart for cheap and I'm going to paint it and then paint some words on it. I'm thinking I'll probably write "Families are Forever", but I'm not sure yet. I also saw a pack of big canvases at Walmart too that weren't too expensive, so my brain is hunting for ideas on what I can do with those.

And finally, I have an idea to make a rug out of carpet square samples. Maybe this sounds ghetto, but I'm determined to make something that looks cute. I spent some time looking up a bunch of places that have free carpet square samples and I ordered them online (because let's face it, Kirksville doesn't have any stores.) I did buy some carpet adhesive tape so I'm ready to put it together once my carpet gets here. I'm a little scared that maybe this project will end up being harder than I think it will be. Jonathan literally laughed out loud when I told him my idea, but my confidence hasn't been shot, so I'm still going for it.

Trip to Columbia: 

We escaped Kirksville for a day. We drove to Columbia, our nearest city, which was about and hour and a half away or so. First we went to the mall (went to my favorite stores - Target and H&M), then we went to PetSmart to get Alvin an engraved tag, Bed,Bath and Beyond to get a card table, Kohls to get security tags taken off of some Christmas presents, Sams Club to stock up, and then went out to dinner for my birthday!

Alvin showing off his new name tag. The other side has our contact information. 

 For my 25th birthday dinner, we got order number 25! How fun!

We ate at Noodles & Company. 

Birthday: 

My birthday fell on a Sunday this year. When I was a kid, I was always bummed when that would happen. But as an adult, I love it! I don't have to work on Sundays. Jonathan doesn't have school Sundays. We literally spent the whole day together! And most of my friends in Kirksville are people I know from church, so I got to see a lot of my friends on my birthday! It was a good day.



Jonathan totally spoiled me. He made me crepes for breakfast (yummy!), made me a delicious roast dinner, and then for dessert he made me a white chocolate raspberry cheesecake AND cheesecake brownies!!



I also got lots of fun presents!
 A new sweater, a coloring book, and lots of colored pencils! 

 A kitty calendar, and 2 new puzzles.

Tillamook cheese! I seriously missed this stuff. We do all our grocery shopping at Walmart and Aldi, neither of which sell Tillamook. So we picked this beauty up in Columbia.

That night we had some friends over to help us eat cheesecake and brownies. Then we played my all time favorite game, Telestrations!
(As you can see, Alvin felt the need to be the center of attention.) 

After friends left, Jonathan and I worked on putting together one of my new puzzles. And mostly just enjoyed the evening together. It was the best birthday ever!

I like this puzzle. It shows when we first met/were dating, when we were engaged, our wedding day, and then walking the road of marriage. :) It was fun to do and I'm excited to be able to do this puzzle again and again throughout the years. 

This last week was alright. But for where it lacked, the weekend definitely made up for it! Well, aside from the fact it snowed on Sunday. I didn't like that, but it's winter, so what can you expect?




Monday, January 11, 2016

Life in Kirksville: Week 25

I missed a post for week 24, but that's because we were only in Kirksville for part of the week (then we left for Christmas break). Most of the time was spent cleaning and packing anyway, so I didn't have much to say.

This last week (week 25) I was literally sick EVERY SINGLE DAY. I got sick the Sunday after Christmas and my body just hates me and doesn't want me to get better I guess.

Well the beginning of our time back in Missouri was spent in Kansas City. We did a little bit of shopping, drove to the Kansas border to get a picture by the state sign, and stopped by the Kansas City temple.




Look how cheap gas was in Kansas City! 


This is what we came home to. Alvin had been dumpster diving... haha

It was nice being back home. I wasn't feeling the greatest physically still, but I pushed through. Church was good on Sunday. I was brave enough to bear my testimony in Sacrament meeting, so that was cool! Primary was fun. I'm grateful for that calling. I enjoy it a lot. 


The rest of the week I was pretty much a lazy bum and laid around. I got some work stuff done, did a lot of cuddling with Alvin, a lot of cuddling with Jonathan, took a lot of drugs to help manage my stupid sickness, and talked myself into doing a few new crafts.







Jonathan made me lots of yummy breakfasts all week. I love how much he enjoys cooking. :)

 For date night we got a 1000 piece puzzle and put it together (we finished it Sunday). We watched Dan in Real Life and ate some ice cream while doing our puzzle. It was a low key date, but it was perfect because I was still feeling sick.

Oh, the new semester started and I am teaching an evening class for Ology. Teaching at night is harder than teaching in the morning for me. It's kind of awkward with the lighting (the reflection of the lamp shows on the whiteboard), but I'm grateful for the hours. Next week I find out if I'm going to be teaching a class for Acer, our sister company. Their semester starts later than ours. And any day now I find out if I'll be doing data analysis for another semester. I hope at least one of those things works out, because we could definitely use the income! Medical school is expensive. Did you know that the board exam costs $600!?! And board prep costs just as much!? Jeez, I have no idea how we'll afford it or how they think ANY student can afford it...haha Something will work out though, I'm sure.

Sunday was SOOOO cold! We had to bundle up. There was no snow on the ground, but it was still really cold. Needless to say, we stayed inside most of that day.haha

Hopefully week 26 I will be feeling better and have more fun things to talk about!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Christmas Break

It was so nice getting to spend time with our families over the holidays. We got lucky this year - we were able to see both of my parents, as well as Jonathan's family. I think that'll happen probably never again. Mostly because that was most likely our last Christmas break. From here on out Jonathan is going to be working at hospitals or clinics and not have a 16 day break for Christmas.

We left on a Friday, right after Jonathan's final. He passed all his classes, so that's good! :) We had a 3 hour drive to the airport, then we parked our car at a hotel, waited for a shuttle, and got to the airport at like 8pm or something like that. Our flight was delayed, of course, and so our flight out of Kansas City left a lot later than we expected. We had a layover in Denver and were supposed to arrive in Sacramento a little before 2am. Well unfortunately we missed our connecting flight due to the first plane being delayed. We were both stressed out about it, very hungry, very tired, and very sad.


The Denver airport was nice and gave us vouchers for meals and a hotel, so that was good! But by the time we were able to figure everything out and catch our shuttle, we were getting to the hotel at 2am. We were told the next flight was about 7:30am. With shuttles running only once an hour from our hotel, we found ourselves getting up about 4:30am. The shuttle left a little after 5, we got through airport security relatively fast, and then we took naps in the airport waiting for our plane. It was awful, haha.


It would have been one thing if we had the option of sleeping for several hours once we got to Sacramento, but the reason why we booked the Friday flight in the first place was because we were planning on driving to Gilroy from Sacramento first thing on Saturday. The delayed flights totally messed with our plans! We were exhausted and not looking forward to driving to the bay area on 2-3 hours of sleep....

Dad picked us up from Sacramento and we did squeeze in an hour nap. We ate some lunch, and then Jonathan and I drove down to Gilroy with my siblings. We were headed to Gilroy so that we could spend time with my mom. She was only going to be there until Monday morning, and so were were wanting to spend as much time with her as we could. I think we got to Gilroy around dinner time, if I remember correctly.

It was really nice to see her. I didn't realize how much I missed her. It was a little bit weird meeting her fiance and his 12 year old daughter, but we're family now so I'm glad I was able to actually meet them. Chris seemed nice and I could tell he loved my mom. Piper (his daughter) seemed a little shy, but she was a big fan of Trevor.haha They already were acting like brother and sister. Anyway, we all stayed at my grandparents house and I loved it. My grandparents are seriously awesome. We played games with them, talked with them, and enjoyed time together.

The Eggers family has a tradition of getting together the weekend before Christmas and having a Christmas dinner with everyone. Along with it there is usually a White Elephant gift exchange, a Christmas talent show, and a lot of visiting. I was SOO glad we were able to make it to the Eggers Christmas party. I loved seeing all my aunts, uncles, and cousins. It made me feel like things were how they always were and I briefly forgot that my parents were no longer together. With so much change in my life lately, it was nice having that familiar family gathering to look forward to.

After the Christmas party, we went back to my grandparents and had Christmas with Mom, Chris, and Piper. It was really nice of my mom to do that and I liked getting to have a Christmas with her. I know things have been really hard lately but she's still my mom and I still love her dearly.

On Monday morning we took some pictures but then basically loaded our cars and left. Mom, Chris, and Piper headed back to Utah. Me, Jonathan, Katelyn, and Trevor headed back up to Folsom. I honestly liked the drive with the 4 of us because it was nice getting to talk and spend time together. I have pretty cool siblings. I think I'll keep 'em.

Here are some of the pictures we took when we were with Mom and Chris:






So, if I'm being honest, our time in Folsom was all a bit of a blur. Jonathan was starting to feel sick while we were in Gilroy, so he wasn't feeling the greatest at the beginning of our time in Folsom. And I got sick at the end of our time in Folsom. Good times! But it was nice being with my dad and being back in my hometown.

It was kind of weird being home and being married. Dad had us set up it the guest room, so I didn't even get to sleep in my old room. My old room looks very different. It basically got transformed into a storage room. And although our kitchen and living room had some familiar things, there was a whole bunch of furniture I did not recognize. Dad is getting married in the spring and his fiance has a lot of her furniture in our house already. It's a little spooky walking through your house but it not exactly feeling or looking how you remember it. It was an odd mix of feeling like I was in a stranger's house and feeling like I was back home.

We met Tisha, Dad's fiance, and she seems nice. She is definitely very different than my mom. But she and Dad seem happy together, so I'm glad they're happy. Some of the things we did in Folsom: a lot of shopping, worked on a puzzle, went out to dinner, visited with cousins, took family pictures, did a session at the temple, drove around looking at Christmas lights, and then obviously Christmas! Oh, and we made sure to visit with Jenna while we were in Folsom too. She's basically my only Folsom friend that Jonathan knows and so even though I would have loved to visit lots of my other Folsom friends, Jenna was the only person that I knew Jonathan already felt comfortable around.

Christmas Day was....interesting. Of course I loved getting to be with family, but Tisha's sons spent Christmas with us too and it was interesting trying to merge two different family traditions together. Basically everything on Christmas was different than I remember and it made me a little sad, BUT I was grateful to not be stuck in Kirksville on Christmas. And I was grateful I had Jonathan with me.

Here are some pictures from Folsom:







So like I mentioned, I started getting sick the end of our time in Folsom. We were there until the Monday after Christmas and our flight took off in the afternoon. Destination: Vegas airport where Jonathan's parents would be picking us up to take us to Hurricane.

I felt really bad because I was sick the entire time we were in Hurricane. I love his family though and was grateful to see them. I know Jonathan was really excited to spend time with them - they're all very close and I know it's hard for him to be living so far away. We spent a lot of time just hanging out with family and playing games (which I loved). There was a day we spent visiting his sister and her 3 little kids. There was another day we went to play and run around the red rocks with the kids. We did some shopping. Had a family lunch with his cousins, aunts, and uncles. Drove up to Cedar City and played games with his brother (Adam) and sister-in-law (Amanda). And we had a 3rd Christmas! I was really shocked and touched by how generous Jonathan's parents were. Not just for Christmas, but the whole week I was there. They were so nice! I really did a horrible job with remembering to take pictures, but in my defense I was sick and didn't feel like myself. BUT we did get a picture on New Years Eve:




Oh, also my hair was having MAJOR static issues while I was in Utah. haha

Anywho, we were in Utah through Friday. Our flight was early Saturday morning but luckily we flew out of St. George, so we didn't have to travel far to get to the airport. We were sad to leave family, but also excited to get home and back into our routines. And we were excited to see Alvin again (it was the longest we had left him).

So in summary, it was a nice break from work and school. I met a lot of new people who are now going to be a bigger part of my life (I'm gaining 2 new step brothers and a step sister. Oh, and did I mention Tisha has a dog? So now there's a dog in my family too). Mostly it was good to see my family though. I'd say my 4 favorite things of the break were: the Eggers Christmas Party, going to the temple, visiting with Jenna, and playing games at Adam and Amanda's.