Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas

Just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. We celebrated Christmas yesterday with some very nice gifts. We are headed to the airport shortly for our redeye to Italy. We will be posting lots of pictures from Kirsten and Kyle's visit, our Christmas here and our Christmas in Italy upon our return. We hope you all have a safe and happy holidays! See you when we get back!

Monday, December 17, 2007

If we can make it there, we'll make it anywhere...

No, I'm not talking about New York (though I guess we have made it here) but even more challenging was making it here, to December 17th - through four months of full-time work in New York and full-time school in Philly on top of adjusting to the married life. I of course had the "easier" part of the job with only a supporting role and maintaining my own responsibilities of work, seminary, and wife (I think defining myself as a wife makes me sound at least 10 years older than I am), but if it was hard for me, I can only imagine how much harder it all was for Brett. BUT, Brett is currently in his FINAL final of his undergrad career! I couldn't be more proud of him, my UPenn grad!

He has done an amazing job juggling everything and though it's been rough, it's over! We are definitely looking forward to a fun 8 days together in Italy and a school-free 2008! In the meantime, I think we'll enjoy a dinner together (which are few and far between as of late) tonight and an evening free of studying for school or prepping for seminary!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Belated Birthday, Early Christmas

I must have the cutest husband in the world. He has been planning a gift for a while now and it finally got all put together. He was so excited to give it to me and since it was a belated part of a birthday gift and an early Christmas present to be shared with family and friends, I got to open it last night. The picture should tell all!
He did SUCH a good job and oh boy, I just can't wait to try out the tasty recipes in my new 'everything I need to know about sushi' book. My sister Kirsten and her husband Kyle will be here for a few days this week, so we're looking forward to a homemade sushi dinner one night. And for any of you that love sushi as much as I do (Margs, that's you), you're invited over. Brett, thanks for the thoughtful gift. It will enjoy many uses in the upcoming years. I love you!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Party at Spotlight!

Last night was the company Christmas party. They rented out a pretty awesome karaoke bar in Times Square (complete with back-up singers and dancers) for the evening and served appetizers, dinner, desserts and had an open bar of course. I had a lot of fun considering that I haven't even been here a month and don't know too many people. The night was jam-packed with karaoke. Somehow we managed to get our CEO up there. Here's a few pictures from the night.

Robert (my old boss when I worked on Goldfish) and I Karene and two other co-workers singing "Wannabe" by the Spice Girls with the back-up singers/dancers Karene and I after her amazing performance

Monday, December 10, 2007

My twin is getting married!

What a weekend! This past weekend I went to Utah to spend a fun-filled weekend with Mary and help her as she counts down the days (now 12) to her wedding! We had such a blast just being together again. It had been such a LONG time since we'd been able to hang out just the two of us. I almost didn't get there thanks to a blasted NJ Transit train that broke down just a few minutes outside of Penn Station. What should have been a 20 minute train ride turned out to be a bit over 2 hours with 1.5 of those hours sitting in a tunnel (with no cell phone reception, except for those with Verizon...good thing to know...Verizon gets some good reception...I'll have to think twice about keeping AT&T) on a stopped train while they tried to fix our mechanical problems. Needless to say, I missed my original flight and it all looked hopeless once I got to the airport. Delta wasn't helping me out too much, so I took matters into my own hands, ran to another terminal and talked to the nice people at the Continental ticketing counter. They put me onto their direct flight to SLC for no additional cost and I barely made it to the gate in time for that flight (another long story about security). Then when I thought that I'd be going hungry for another 5 hours (it had already been 6 hours since lunch), Continental fed us dinner. They sure racked up the points from me this weekend. I think I'll send them a nice note, thanking them for their service! And of course, they'll be getting my business in the future. Anyway, after a very long afternoon/evening, I arrived in SLC greeted by some intense snow storms and an adorable Mary and Mark. They were kind enough to wait around for me and we started the trek back to Orem. We had a short stop on the way as Mark helped change a tire on a car full of helpless girls. What a good Samaritan he was...soaked and chilled to the bone, but still smiling!

This was what we drove through on Saturday...and it got worse.
I forget how much I miss the college days of late night girl talk. Mary and I managed to squeeze in quite a bit of that throughout the weekend as we ran all the wedding planning type errands. The dinner reception is going to be absolutely beautiful...I can't wait to see pictures. And her's divine! And with her in it, oh my goodness, she will be the most beautiful bride ever!

For the first three years of college Mary, Kim, Margi, Jenny, Kristi and I were all roommates. We had so much fun together and shared many memories. Saturday night three of us were able to get together. We spent a bit with Kim and her little kiddies. It was so good to be all together again. Now hopefully someday soon we can get everyone together!
Since we didn't take too many pictures during the weekend, we snuck a couple in at the airport on Sunday.
It was fun to meet Mark. Little did he know that this weekend was a test. I had to give my stamp of approval before the big day and my oh my, did he ever pass with flying colors! They're sure lucky to have each other.
Before I end, I just have to share some of my favorite Mary memories.
- Having our freshman teachers and bishopric constantly mix us up because we were both tall and blond and our last names were just about identical (Nicholls and Nicholas).
- Calling each other twin since people got us mixed up. I always wanted a twin :)
- Inventing recipes every Saturday our junior year just for the fun of it. Some of them turned out mighty fine and the others, well, at least college boys ate them because it was free food. No one died in the process :)
- Listening to her sing tenor an octave higher every Sunday at Church.
- Laying in each others rooms talking about nothing til we both fell asleep and one of us woke up at about 4am to stumble into our own room.
- By far some of my favorite moments were the Friday night dance parties in our apartment. All we needed was Mary, Kris, and a little bit of JT!
I love you Mare!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Christmas, Christmas time is here!

So with the season in full swing, I had to have a Christmas dedicated post. I've been trying to semi deck out my house to help get in the holiday spirit.

Initially Brett and I wanted to decorate the Sunday after Thanksgiving, so we turned on the Christmas music (hurray!), pulled out all of our decorations from last year and realized that it consisted only of a small tree, some lights, a handful of disco type ornaments and a star that didn't work. (And of course the beautiful quilt from Angie and our first Nativity from Ade). As you can imagine, it didn't take long to put it all up. Brett even made hot chocolate (though he's not a fan of it) to celebrate the moment.

Brett fluffed the tree while I got everything else ready to go.
Notice that deep concentration. "Where to put the ornaments," I thought. "Gotta space them out evenly and make sure two of the same color aren't right next to each other."
Our sad first attempt at the Christmas tree.
Post setting up the tree, we enjoyed some hot chocolate and posed a few times for the camera. This was our "winking" picture.
A day or two later a nice surprise arrived at work from my sister Kirsten. At home we had a glass snowman jar that we took out each Christmas and my mom filled with red and green M&M's. Kirst found these in Ohio and sent each of us one so we could have it in our own house. The perfect Nicholas touch in the Gibson home! Thanks Kirst, you're the best! (She even sent along some mint M&M's and I sneak a few everytime I walk by...which can be bad since living in a studio I walk by it quite frequently)!
Brett's been working so hard over the past few months trying to balance work and school and me (and I'm not always easy to deal with). So I thought it time that he know how much I love him and help him count down to Christmas (and the end of finals) with an advent calendar (thanks Target) filled with a little present each day.

Every day there is a little note hanging from the doorknob of the corresponding date with a little message and a little something inside to enjoy. I'm sure Brett would be happy to tell you some of the things he's received thus far.
Here he is showing off Monday's present...discreet ear muffs. He tried them out Tuesday and he was more than pleased!
After a weeknight trip to Target with Ade, I was able to add a bit more style to the tree. (Notice the beautiful placemats that my mom sent over to add some Christmas flavor to the home. We love them! Thanks Mom!)
Tilt your head a bit for this picture - the finished product sans star (I just haven't been able to find one, so I'll have to make my own or make a beautiful bow to place on top).
Here on the East Side, there is a Relief Society yearly wreath making activity. This was my first year taking part. My friend Kaitlin (a former co-worker) came along and these are our final products.
For the month of December my first wreath will replace the clock. It's a perfect size. Here she is in all her glory. It doesn't look that great in the picture, but she's beautiful. Tonight I'll have to trim her up so that there is a defined center and a rounder outside edge, but it was too late last night with a seminary lesson to prepare and the clock already ticking past 10pm.
The Christmas entry way :)

Stay tuned for another Christmas post displaying the rest of our Christmas'ed out studio.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

From the mouths of babes

I saw this on a friend's blog and since I know how obsessed my family is with the Reader's Digest, I thought that especially Kirsten would enjoy this (Kirst, don't know if you get the Digest now).

Courtesy of Reader's Digest:
I was telling my three boys the story of the Nativity and how the Wise Men brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh for the infant Jesus. Clearly giving it a lot of thought, my six-year-old observed, "Mom, a Wise Woman would have brought diapers."--Angie Flaute

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Gibson Family 2007

Since we were all together at Thanksgiving, we took advantage of a family photo. The Gibson family has expanded in 2007. We've welcomed Logan in March, Kristi-Lynn (officially) in May, and Aaron in October. We'll continue to grow in 2008 with baby Williams in July and certainly there's still opportunities to expand post July.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Our First Thanksgiving

Though Brett and I have shared a Thanksgiving together once before, this is our first Thanksgiving as the Gibsons. We took a whirlwind trip to Vegas to spend it with his entire family. We had tons of fun and wish that we could have extended the trip a bit more, but alas, there are finals to study for :) There is definitely a lot to be grateful for this year. Let me list some of those with pictures.

Baking with the family (oh how I miss this). I made pie crusts for the first time in my life (they turned out rather well if I do say so myself). Vance is the quite the baker there with his apple pie complete with an apple shaped piece of pie crust on the top.

Quiet time to relax and read with family (and pose for a picture in between). Note: Brett pointed out that his book looked harder than the kids' books...Brett, look at you all grown up and reading big kids books!
Going back to the simple life and entertaining oneself with children's toys...Brett was mesmorized by the magnetic color maze (Eve and Anna seemed to be quite into it as well).
Brett was so proud of himself he had to take a picture of his completed maze! I'm definitely grateful for a husband that has such skill :)
Persistence to not just follow through once, but a second time.
Our physical well-being that allows us to enjoy a good ole turkey bowl to work up an appetitie for the delectable dinner that awaits.

Here's the team of "young" guys planning their strategy. Brett was drawing the plays in the grass with a stick.

And here they all all ready to kick some trash after half time.

The whole gang - 1 dad, 1 son, 5 sons-in-law, 1 grandson.

Check out Brett's pass...Riley almost had him, but not quite.

For cute little girls like Tessa that just put a smile on your face every time you see them!

For all of the yummy food - especially these pies (I had a sliver of just about all of them...mmmm)! I mean really, God could have made food bland so that we would just eat to survive, but out of his love for us, he let us enjoy delicious tastes - sweet and savory.

For Angie and all the time, effort and love that she put in our Christmas tree quilt. And for Riley for letting me teach him how to tie a quilt.

Honestly, at this point in my life (just like at any other moment) I have so much to be grateful for. I definitely feel blessed that Brett and I were both raised in homes with good, loving parents who taught us well. And the fact that they created homes in which their children would want to always return and spend time with one another. I'm grateful to live in a country that affords me so much freedom. I'm so incredibly blessed with the best friends I could ask for. I cherish the memories I've shared with you whether our paths have briefly crossed or we've shared many a day together. Most of all, I'm thankful for a loving husband who is so good to me, never gives up on me, accepts me for who I am, helps me as I journey to become all that I hope, inspires me, teaches me and just plain loves me. What a beauty that we have an eternity to spend growing together!

Hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

In 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...

Showtime! So, all day today and part of yesterday the walls of my office shook from the pounding music outside. Macy's has been getting all ready for the big parade on Thanksgiving. It's quite an event and as you can imagine, at this time of year, the streets around my office are super crowded. Our building is directly across the street from Macy's and therefore has a fantastic view of the culmination point of the parade. Space is precious for the four floors of windows in our building. Many of our clients and families of co-workers have windows reserved for the morning. If anyone is around next year, let me know early and if Brett and I are here, we'll watch the parade from my office.

Here's the view from my office. Not bad, eh?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Desperate search for love...

I took this picture last year. I found it hilarious that someone would actually post a sign in the subway station to find their true love that they'd seen for mere minutes on the subway. But I guess when it's love at first sight, you'd go to any extremes to find her again!

Monday, November 12, 2007

An Abundance of Updates

So I really have no excuse for not updating this past week since I took the week off between jobs. But that's precisely a reason not to blog - no cares in the world, not even blogging!

Just for fun, here's a re-cap of the last week.

Last Monday: Worked late, as always. Ran home to finish making "Heavenly Tidibits" to give to some co-workers in appreciation for all they'd taught me in the past year. Stayed up way too late, but hey, I knew there was an end in sight. And after all, I wanted to leave a good taste in their mouths :)
Last Tuesday: Last day of work. Mixed feelings - sad to say goodbye, but was looking forward to time off and excited for the new opportunity and challenge ahead. Trained my replacement and in true Kristi-Lynn fashion left on my last day after 7pm!

This is Ladies Row! All seven us of along this row were female and came to be known as Ladies Row. Luckily my replacement is a girl, so the legacy can live on :) I am in the way back...I posted the picture with my friends more in the forefront since you all know what I look like. I miss those girls!Last Wednesday - Friday: Tried to do as little as possible - ok, that's a lie. You all know I am incapable of doing nothing. No matter how free I am, I always manage to keep myself busy enough to be stressed :) So, what did I do? Well, caught up on a few of my favorite morning talk shows, enjoyed a couple long phone calls to catch up with friends and fam, deep-cleaned the bathroom and kitchen, manicure/pedicure (awww yeah!), grocery shopping all the way down at Union Square at Trader Joes (I forget how much I love that place), wrote thank you cards (sad that I still have more to write), sent out a few long overdue packages to family with some little presents, stayed in my pj's until at least noon (you don't get to do that very often with a working life), made some meals (that's a luxury for me now considering that the only time I really have to cook is on the weekends), and I'm sure I did a ton more but can't think of it right now.

Last Saturday: Brett and I spent the day together. He found out that since Monday was Veteran's Day and the bond market was closed, he had a half day Friday and all of Monday off. So, he worked a little longer on Friday so he wouldn't have to go in again until Tuesday (though he did have to go in tonight unfortunately for a last minute thing that came up). The highlight of the day was going to the Chocolate Festival. It was a three day event here in the city where a bunch of chocolate vendors from all over the world set up booths and handed out free samples. We tried a little bit of everything and oh my were we ever chocolated out by the end of that! We tried some of the best (and worst) chocolate! To all you chocolate lovers: if you come out here for the festival next year, I'll be happy to join you (I think by then I'll like chocolate again)! Brett and I each picked our favorite thing and bought some to savor once the chocolate hangover had passed :)

This is the pure white chocolate Statue of Liberty...mmm, tasty!
Mary's Chocolates of Japan showed us how it all came to be. Talk about handmade!
So they had all these manequins with outfits made of chocolate (only in the fashion capital of the world). Here I am posing like the one to my left. The one on my right was wearing a wedding dress made of white chocolate. It was sweet (no pun intended).
Peanut Butter & Co. has some of the craziest kinds of Peanut Butter. It's in NYC so we'll have to visit when you come out. Brett found a fast friend :)
From the Chocolate Festival we went to Stake Conference and on the way home we walked through Rockefeller Center where we saw them getting the tree all ready for the lighting ceremony at the end of the month. I saw a video of them cutting down the tree a few days ago. It's huge!
Yesterday: We went to Stake Conference in the morning where we got a new Stake Presidency. It was a neat meeting. Then we went home and packed a few things before heading uptown a few blocks to pick up our rental car. We drove (I love the freedom of a car!) up to New London, CT where we stayed at the cutest little place, The Lighthouse Inn. We enjoyed a beautiful evening together (something we don't get to do often). There wasn't much traffic through the Inn, so we were well taken care of. Our romantic dinner in their dining room was all about us (since the only other guests there finished their dinner a few minutes after we sat down). :)

Our cute little room. I always wanted a canopy bed (maybe not a lace canopy, but still)!
Today was our 6 month anniversary so this was part of our celebration. Hey, six months is a pretty big mark, right? Like Patty & Vance always tell us...if you can make it six months, you can make it an eternity!
Today: We enjoyed a leisurely morning before heading out to see the fall colors and shop at some of the greatest outlets! On the way out from New London, we picked up two lobsters to enjoy tonight for dinner (part 2 of our anniversary celebration). Never cooked a lobster before, but since the nice man at the store steamed it for us, I didn't have to worry about watching the poor lobster steam to death and figure out how long to do that. All I did was heat it up and make a wonderful lemon/garlic butter to dip it in. It was pretty tasty!

The fall colors outside of our hotel.

I have been eyeing this jacket for a long time! I've seen it in the window at J. Crew and online. I've looked at it almost daily (ok, maybe more like weekly) for the past few months hoping that it would go on sale. The high price wasn't budging, so I was beginning to come to grips with the fact that I might never find it in my closet. The jacket had a different plan :) Thanks to the J. Crew outlet, my jacket and I have been united! It was on sale at the outlet plus when I paid for it there was an additional 30% off. Talk about a deal! I left that store very happy!

I had also been eyeing this headband (in a different pattern) and got a killer deal on it as well. I love you J. Crew outlet!

Just getting ready to heat up the lobsters. I really didn't think they were disgusting but had to make some kind of a face for the picture.