Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Year in Review: November

Sweeeeeet November.

Karin (my boss) came back from maternity leave and the craziness died down, I survived my first ward service auction as service committee co-chair and we raised over $10,000 to help provide Christmas for families in our stake, and Brian took me to Wicked for my birthday. (that's right - I milked my birthday into November.)

Brian & I had an amazing weekend getaway to Utah for his birthday. We got to spend time with Granny & Grandpa and explored Sundance. It was so nice to get away from work and LA for a couple days. Some idiot (me) forgot to put candles in his guac at chipotle as he requested. The same idiot (still me unfortunately) forgot to take pictures as he blew out the candles of the beautiful baseball cake I made him. So here I am forcing him to blow out candles in cantaloupe. Apparently he just turned 4.
The entire Swenson clan got together in St. George for Thanksgiving! I paraded Brian through Mom, Dad, Kate, Collin & Linds, both sets of grandparents, 2 aunts, 2 uncles, 6 cousins, 4 kids of cousins, 9 Ellis', 6 Ferrells, and 4 Carters. That's what we like to call "the ringer." He took it like a champ and we had a great time. We apparently like things in sets of two... we played tennis twice, played the name game twice, ate at Cafe Rio twice, biking twice (Brian, not me), and watched 2 1/2 BYU sporting events. And then there was Nertz. I estimated 47 rounds of Nertz in a 5-day period. It's no longer something we play because we want to - it's something we NEED. And as much as we say it's for the love of the game... we all want to win and being paired with a weak link hurts more than we ever want to admit. Lucky for me, Brian's a Nertz up and comer and held his own. Watch out Crawford's, we're coming for ya.

A Year in Review: October

The month without Babcock!!! Ok fine, so I'm an over-exaggerator... Babcock went on a 2 week roadtrip with his youngest brothers Justin & Andrew. While he was away, I had another mudrun - much more intense this time, and our ward had our homecoming football game. This game puts high school football to shame. I'm surprised we didn't have a parade! The 2 big singles wards in LA put together legit football teams with practices every week and plays to memorize. We had a cheer squad, a pep rally, 2 fully suited mascots, and we won 77-28. Tons of fun.
Brian made it back in time for all the college girls to come in town for Chelsea's wedding, his birthday celebration (29!!!) at Chipotle & the batting cages, and a superhero Halloween.

A Year in Review: September

Wait... what??? How are we in September already?? What happened to August?? Funny you should ask... because my real August came and went about that fast. August was when work started going crazy and it didn't stop until mid-November. Luckily, by September, I realized that I needed to force some balance in my life and found some time to play. Plus it was my birthday and Brian decided to spoil the crap out of me. Who could resist that???

Birthday recap: Brian took me sailing for my birthday (one week early), and while the other couples stayed where it was safe, Brian & I braved the open waters on the front of the sailboat. I was getting splashed like crazy, holding on for dear life as the wind picked up, and almost fell through an open hatch. Once safe in the harbor, we floated as we ate dinner and a beautiful chocolate cake. On my actual day, he had surprise after surprise waiting for me including breakfast in bed and tickets to Wicked. It was the perfect birthday.

Other fun-ness: Labor day at the beach with friends, my first fancy steak dinner @ Ruth's Chris, BYU vs UCLA football game, and a weekend trip to St. George.

Before getting on the sailboat, our friend told us it was customary for sailors to do a jig before they're allowed to get on the boat. Yeah, he's a liar. But we jigged it up anyway. If you listen carefully at the very beginning, you can hear me ask Brian, "What kind of a jig?" Does it matter??? How many jigs do I know???

Friday, December 14, 2007

A Year in Review: July

For the rest of my life I think July 2007 will be the month to beat.

Brian & I took the most
spontaneous vacation of my life to Jackson Hole to see my best friend Ashley Burnett. I'm talking... Ash invited us at noon, booked our flights at 4pm, left at 7pm. We went white water rafting, on a lazy river float (laziest river of my life - we floated for 4 hours), to the demolition derby, and I got to meet Brian's brother and sister-in-law, Mark & Jenny!

Every year our ward puts on a film festival. My favorite friend Krista (middle) puts it on (along with every other ward activity) and she always does AMAZING. Red carpet event and a great excuse to put on a fancy dress. (Thank you Kate/Mom for sending prom dresses!)

Kate came to visit!!! We went to the beach, surfing (my first time), to the circus (also my first time), played Guitar Hero until our fingers bled, and to the batting cages. Check out Kate's sweet hand print tanlines. I did that on accident and laughed until I cried when I saw it. She was the focal point of every guy in the ward, and the envy of every girl. Man alive is she beautiful and fun. Just love this girl.

Mark & Jenny came to visit! Guess they didn't get enough Ali & Brian time when we went to see them. The 4 of us went to Sequoia National Park for a long weekend to camp and were joined by their friends Erin & Ben. It was so good to spend time with them... so good in fact that it was hard when they left. Move to LA!!! I'm actually in the process of convincing everyone I love to move out here. So far I've successfully coerced Katie Rockwood & Leanne Burnett... Not bad right? You next?

Friday, December 7, 2007

Mission President???

Lucky for missionaries somewhere... my wonderful, inspiring and always dedicated parents get to be their fake parents for the next 3 years. And as excited as I am for them (the missionaries) and them (my parents), I have to admit I was initially more conflicted than I would like to admit. Selfish, I know. So despite that first hour of incessant crying, I'd like to use this as a platform to trumpet my enthusiasm for them.

When is it that children begin to be just as proud of their parents as parents are of their kids? Sometime before 25, that's for sure. I know that they will be incredible, and my temporary loss will certainly be the gain of many. And with any luck... our family will have the reunion of a lifetime somewhere new and exciting. Stay tuned to find out where.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A Year in Review: June

Busy month! Weekend trip to San Diego, my first business trip to Cincinnati (going back to my mid-west roots!), Kenny G/Chris Botti concert (jealous much?), trip to Mexico with 20 friends from the ward, The Format concert, my first mud run, & a trip to Lake Powell with BFF Krista Davis.

Wow! Is this guy into me or WHAT?!?! =) Lucky me. This is from our trip to Mexico.
Just to make the trip more exciting, I got pulled over for some bogus reason and had to pay the cop off. That's what we call the full Mexico experience.

Totally blog worthy... Krista (2nd from the left) was signed up for a mudrun down in San Diego so I went to spectate since we were making the trek out to Lake Powell that same day - it made sense. A mudrun is a 10K run on a marine course complete with muddy obstacles that you do in teams of 5. They spray you down with fire hoses, make you jump over walls, crawl through tunnels and under flags - all doused in what can only be sewage water/mud/portapotty overspill. I showed up day of in pjs on zero hours of sleep (don't ask), but when group member #5 failed to show up... guess who got to participate. I scrounged a fairly pathetic outfit from our Lake Powell bags including all cotton clothes and Krista's old soccer cleats - a size and a half too big with huge holes in the toes. People were looking at me like I was crazy. And as I passed the first aid stand... the sports medicine doctor there asked me my size, and GAVE me her shoes. Not to borrow - to keep. That's right - the ones she was wearing. I couldn't believe it. If that doesn't give you faith in the goodness of people I don't know what will. And not that winning's all that matters, but we rocked the thing and ended up taking 9th place.

A Year in Review: May 2007

Apparently April wasn't too interesting. Or maybe it was soooo interesting that I forgot to take pictures... either way - on to May.
Another camping trip with great LA friends.

Ran my first mini with Kate, Collin, the Big Dog & Brooke Ellis. Apparently Collin's faster than we are... shocking, I know.

A Year in Review: March 2007

Camping at pismo beach with 40 friends. I'm on the left, that's Chelsea on the right. 10 cars circled up and we had one massive fire in the middle of all the tents. Great trip.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

First for Everything

Figured it was about time I jumped on the blogging bandwagon. Welcome to the world of Ali. LA Style.

Definitely a Life Worth Living.