Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Christmas Poem

One night a couple of weeks ago I couldn't sleep (which is just about every night/day). So by the light of my cell phone in the bed, I came up with this silly little poem, which is an ode to my family.

A Christmas Poem

As we come to the end of 2008,
We look back on a year that we thought was great.
In June Britt and Brandon tied the knot,
In May Em decided bravely to "not."
Em loves her yoga, she's become quite a pro,
In Park City she lives and plays in the snow.
The Emergency Room is where she works nights,
Being a nurse is what Brittany likes.
Brandon sells software at Go Engineer,
He's learning and loving his new job this year.
Chris and Wendi made plans to adopt,
While working with books and all things posh.
Landon sold books to pay his tuition
Some day his hard work will come to fruition.
Research and writing was quite a production,
Last month dad finished another introduction.
Although she thought that she had retired,
Mom went back to work when someone got fired.
The economy stunk after the stock market crash,
Our 401(k)s went right in the trash!
For Christmas this year instead of many gifts,
We're donating our clothes and shopping at thrifts.
But what better way to feel the Christmas spirit,
Than to give to those that really do need it!
No we don't need presents under the tree,
We have all we need- the Bench family!

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus...

The one day I look forward to the most during the holidays is Christmas Eve. There is something so magical about the lights, the cozy family time, opening the "Secret Elf" gift, reading the Christmas story from Luke II and all that yummy food of course! Also I think I like the anticipation of Christmas and being together with my family who I love so very much! This year was especially great because Brandon could finally spend the night with me on Christmas Eve- now that we are married of course. (Thanks Landon for cleaning your room so we could sleep there, sorry that you got "taco'd" on the blow-up mattress.)

We had planned to spend the evening serving dinner at the homeless shelter, but apparently they "double-booked" us and called to say they actually had TOO MANY volunteers that night. We wished we could have been part of it, but it's nice to know there is actually a surplus of volunteers, especially this time of year. So my dad will reschedule our family for another time, and we will take our collection of clothing and blankets to donate in a few more weeks.

Although we decided that we weren't going to have a lot of presents this year, we still woke up Christmas morning and felt very spoiled with all the things we got. My mom is so thoughtful and creative, she and my dad gave us all gifts of "time." A month ago she asked us to write a wish-list of  "time." For instance I wished for people to help us with putting in our yard in the spring, so she gave us a pail with shovel and rake and gloves, and we scheduled a day that the whole family would come and help us do our yard! Everyone's gifts were all a little different and symbolic. Chris and Wendi got some painting supplies, and a date that we'd all come help them paint their nursery! What a great idea, right? We also got some "bare essentials" and some other great gifts. It was our first Christmas together being married, and I think it was my best Christmas ever!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Festival of Trees

A couple of weeks ago we went on a double-date with my grandparents. They live in Alpine, which is right down the hill from us. They don't have a car, so we love to go pick them up and take them places now and again. We went to see all the millions of trees and other holiday decorations and such at the Festival of Trees, and afterwards they treated us to dinner. We had a great time!

Here are some things about my grandpa that are interesting:
He was a personal assistant to Howard Hughes, he worked with the Osmond Family in California for many years, 2 years ago he had a 7-bypass graft heart surgery and is doing very well, he is very smart and knows all about current events and he's the most patient man I know!

Thanksgiving in Mt. Pleasant

I am a little slow on getting these pictures onto my computer, but here in Mt. Pleasant is where we actually spent Thanksgiving. I didn't get any pictures of the actual meal with the whole family, but here are the boys on clean-up duty. Anthony was getting into the turkey carving a little too much I think! 

The little brand new baby I'm holding is Cliff's grand-niece or something like that. Her name is Emma, and she is so sweet. Made me baby hungry :-)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Family and feast

When some people get married they divide up holiday time between the two families and only get one holiday meal or day together. Well, although Brandon and I went down to his mom's for Thanksgiving and had a wonderful meal, we got spoiled and had a repeat on Sunday with my family! That was such a bonus, because I really missed my family on my first Thanksgiving away. We also celebrated Landon's birthday on Sunday. I think my caloric intake this weekend was about as much as most people consume in a whole month! But it was worth it! I have great cooks in my family and Brandon's, so I guess I better start becoming one too. 

My contribution, which I got many compliments on was the rolls. At both family gatherings I made these Buttermilk Rolls. I must give credit where credit is due. If you want to impress, follow the link and make them for your next family gathering!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I am Thankful for...

Things I am Thankful for:
  • My amazing wonderful, giving, fun, smart, fantastic family.
  • My sweet, sensitive, funny, incredible, good-looking, generous, loving husband. 
  • My job as a nurse. It's wonderful to have such a good job in these hard times! I am grateful to have had a great education, and still learn more every day. I enjoy helping others, and it has taught me so much about people and brought me to places I never even imagined.
  • The mountains. We live in the best place on earth, where the mountains are our backyard. We love to play in the mountains whether it's rock-climbing, skiing, snowboarding, hiking, etc.
  • My health. I see so many people every day in my line of work that have very debilitating illnesses or injury that change their lives very drastically. I'm grateful that I am very healthy!
  • My home. I have been living here for 5 months, but strangely it felt more like home today than ever before! It is nice to have a big, new kitchen to cook in, and I love the view of Lone Peak right out our windows. It's fun to think of starting our family here and making lots of great memories.
  • My knowledge that Christ is our Savior, and he loves us. This might be the most important of all. At this time of the year as we reflect on all the things we are grateful for, we surely can see how truly blessed we are. We have so much to be thankful for and instead of thinking of all the presents we could buy, or how commercialized this season has become, let's reach out to those that are less fortunate and give as much as we can. In giving to others, we can truly feel the spirit of the season. 

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Missing this

Now that it's getting colder, I am missing the warm days when we were out climbing a lot. This in-between season is always hard for me- it's too cold and wet to really enjoy being outside doing things, but there isn't enough snow or ice yet to be out enjoying that either. We did have some nice fall days out with friends before it got too cold at least. Although I'm not really looking forward to shoveling more snow from our driveway, I hope to be on my snowboard (and Brandon on his skis) soon enough, and climbing the ice as soon as it forms! Until then, I'll just remember the nice warm summer days climbing in the sun! 

Monday, November 3, 2008

5 Years!

This past month I received my 5 year certificate working for IHC as a Registered Nurse. It's hard to believe that much time has gone by! I honestly can not imagine doing anything else. I absolutely love being a nurse, and working in the ER is where I belong. I live for the life and death moments, I don't get grossed out by blood and guts, and it's never the same day twice! One good thing I can be grateful for lately is that no matter what the economy is doing, I will always have a job! I love the people I work with, and the patients I get to work for.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween continued

Chris's fro made him even taller than he already is and Wendi was a beautiful butterfly! Landon made a good hunter and I'll let you decide what Brandon was ;-) Grandpa and Grandma showed up as "Old MacDonald" and "His wife" and while Grandma Glad was not in costume, she did win the pumpkin ball toss contest. Emily's alter ego "Bianca" made an appearance and my costume came from a great thrift store several years ago. Dad really looked the part as a surgeon, and mom was a sexy kitten!

Happy Halloween!

We had a great party the other night where everyone came in costume... well even those that didn't come in costume put one together out of the great costume box at mom and dad's :-) We had a yummy dinner of chili and chowder and all sorts of other good stuff. Carving pumpkins is such a fun tradition, and our winner was Emily's elaborate spider web design. We played fun Halloween games and got really neat prizes... thanks mom for a GREAT TIME!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Last week we had our condo up at the Cliff Lodge at Snowbird. We had a great time- climbing, hiking, relaxing at the spa, entertaining family and friends, and yes even spelunking! Also, there was a lot of good food, time for reading, and watching movies, and just enjoying the beautiful fall season in the mountains!

Monday, October 13, 2008


While I went away to work, Brandon went to play in the mountains. American Fork canyon is one of our favorite canyons to explore... and you can see why. Can you see the mountain goats?

Winter Already?

This weekend a storm moved in, and this is what we woke up to! I had just put up our Halloween decorations, so I was not in the mood for snow! Up here, we experience more harsh weather than down in the valley. If this is any clue of what's still to come, it's going to be another record snow year!