Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Yesterday my niece Novalee got to come over for a few hours and we made frosted Christmas cookies together. She did a wonderful job rolling out the cookie dough, cutting out the cookies and frosting them - she did and even better job of eating all the extra frosting and sprinkles when I wasn't looking. We were in the middle of frosting cookies and I was talking to Michael on the phone, Novalee wanted to talk to him too and tell him about all the cookies we were making, she was convinced that Mikey was home from school and was just calling from the garage to trick her. She wasn't satisfied until we had checked the whole garage and house. Then she was just disappointed that she wouldn't get to see uncle Mikey until Saturday. I gave her a cookie to cheer her up, worked like a charm :).


Uncle "Monkey" loves to take pictures of sunrises and sunsets. We have hundreds of them. He took some beautiful shots while we were in New Mexico.

Over the River and Through the Woods to the Lord's House We Go

Here are some pictures of the walk we took with the whole Gariety gang. Arthur and Sharee live super close to the Albuquerque temple. It was close to sunset when we got up to the temple and the Sandia mountains were turning this amazing shade of pink. This was our last day in New Mexico and after the walk we ordered some take-out for dinner and played Ticket To Ride until we couldn't stay awake any longer. We also had some fun telling stories about growing up Gariety. Thanks so much Arthur and Sharee for letting us come and visit you. We love you guys!!

I'm Dreaming of a White Thanksgiving

This year for Thanksgiving Michael and I drove to Albuquerque, NM to spend time with Arthur, Sharee, Dallin, Daphne, Sean and Hayden. We had so much fun playing games, going for walks, enjoying our Thanksgiving feast and hiking through the snowy woods to find a Christmas tree. The kids loved playing with their uncle Mikey. Sean couldn't say "Mikey" so he called him "uncle Monkey." What a great family time. We only wish the other siblings could have joined us. These pics are for you Matthew, Norb Jr, Viva, Pat, the Egan family and all the rest. We love you guys!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Quirks (I've Been Tagged)

I'm kind of new to this blogging thing. My sister-in-law Sharee got me started (see their beautiful family photos below. Her husband, Arthur, is Michael's older brother). She has a super-great blog. Anyhoo, she wrote a blurb about her quirks and tagged all her sisters and me to post our own quirks too. So here goes...


1. I can't sleep without a heavy quilt over me - no matter how hot it is (and it gets pretty hot here Modesto in the summer). There is just something about the weight of quilt that is so comforting.

2. I hate wearing shoes. I'd rather go barefoot during any season. It's not that cold here so I get away with it most of the time. (And like Sharee - I have to wash my feet at night).

3. When we play Settlers, I must have the longest road. Who cares if I ever build a settlement or a city? Who cares if I have a chance to win? If I can get the longest road, I'm as happy as a pig in slop.

4. I hate taking baths. There is something about soaking in a soapy tub full of your own filth that makes me feel icky. Give me a shower any day.

5. I am painfully shy at heart. I have to force myself to interact with people. I always feel like they have much better things to do than talk to me and I don't want to annoy them.  That is one of the reasons Michael is so amazing - he is so outgoing and confident.  He makes friends anywhere.

6. We left Wisconsin when I was 5 and I thought I left my awful mid-western accent there with the cows and the snow but Michael swears that it all comes back - the full "Oh yeah, you betcha" - when I'm super tired.

7. I can't sleep when Mikey is away at school. I watch the food network or reruns of Family Matters (I love Irkle) until I fall asleep around 3am or 4am. I crash hard when Michael comes home on Fridays.

Okay - I just reread these and they are kind of lame :) Sharee's were so much better. Love you Sharee, thanks for thinking of me!

Happy Early Turkey Day!

Every year my dad hosts an early Thanksgiving because he goes home to Wisconsin for Thanksgiving. We had 20+ people over for dinner on the16th. There was tons of food and lots of family. It was really something to be thankful for.

Dad and Dayna

Anthony and Jenny (Jen is talking to Uncle Brian on the phone).

Crystal, Scott and Braylon.

Novalee and Hannah.

My favorite auntie Kathy and Ruff.

Game Night

A few weeks ago we got together with our friends Kim and Scott and Sharece & Justin to have a game night. We played Balderdash and ate cookies - it was a blast!

All the girls having fun.

Everyone was joking around and teasing each other and we got Michael laughing so hard. What a great night!

Me demonstrating how to shove cookie after cookie into your mouth. Mmmm...Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Cookie.

The Benedicts - they are a crack-up.

Mikey and his friend Scott - I love the face Michael is making in this photo. Classic Gariety.

Temple Trip

On Saturday November 8th we went with our friends Kim and Scott to the temple. It was such a wonderful experience! We were a little apprehensive about having to face protesters but, as luck would have it, it was raining in Oakland so the protesters had all gone home. We even had time to see the new sculptures on loan at the visitors center - they were incredible! Afterwards we stopped in Pleasanton and had a yummy dinner at the Macaroni Grill. Kim and Scott are so funny - and so much fun!!

Doesn't Michael have the best, brightest smile? I just love that about him!

Kim and Scott - what great friends. We just love you guys!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

WE ROCKed the vote!!!

The itsy-bitsy spider went out to rock the vote...this GIANT spider was outside our polling place. I crawled right onto Michael's "I VOTED" sticker and had to be shooed off.

Michael wanted to show his...disappointment that the "VOTE HERE" sign was also in spanish. If you are a citizen and are going to vote it might be a good idea to know enough english to read the words "VOTE HERE".

Yeah! Voting is COOL!

We love Election Day!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Takin' It To The Streets

On this election eve Michael and I spent our evening showing support for traditional marriage. There is a Catholic church on a busy street in Modesto that invited us all to stand with them in support of Prop 8. We stood in the rain for more than 2 hours holding signs and standing up for what we believe in. It was amazing!! It rained so hard but we had so much support. Everyone was honking and waving and a nice woman bought tons of hot chocolate for everyone. Below are a few of the pictures I took. A gentleman from the Catholic church asked me to email the photos to him so he can post them on their church's website. It was such a wonderful experience!

Don't forget to get out and vote tomorrow! God Bless America!!