Sunday, December 1, 2013

Our Married Life in Ornaments

Matt and I were married in August of 2006. We spent some of our honeymoon in upstate New York, so I could meet Matt's mother's family who weren't at the wedding. While there, we went to Niagara Falls. We wanted to get a souvenir, but nothing too expensive. We saw this darling moose Christmas ornament and thought we'd make a tradition of it--collect a Christmas ornament everywhere we visited. So, the next day we went to The Sacred Grove in Palmyra, New York, and bought one there, too. At Thanksgiving time, we visited my sister in California and went to Hollywood and bought the third one you see in the picture below.
We were poor students for the next few years so they are pretty sparse. In 2007, we went to Chicago to attend Matt's brother's wedding. In August, we went to a reunion for my family in Ocean Shores, Washington. We were there for a whole week and it was our first anniversary, so we got two ornaments. Then, for Christmas we went to Kansas to be with my family and attend my brother's wedding in Nauvoo, Illinois.
In 2008, I was working and Matt was in school. The snowflake, bell, and Salt Lake Temple coin ornament are from my coworkers. The coin is inscribed with our names and our anniversary--made by an avid numismatist.  I'm pretty sure we visited my sister and grandfather in Boise during the summer and I know we went to Matt's parents house in Pocatello for Christmas, but I guess those destinations were not exotic enough for us to think to buy an ornament. So... if anyone finds a good Christmas ornament that says Pocatello or Boise or even just Idaho, sent it my way!  ;)
My sister who lives in California had a baby at the end of 2008, so we drove down to see my new nephew blessed in February 2009, and while we were at it, we went to Disneyland.  I was 8 weeks pregnant with Scott and luckily I feel pretty good during my pregnancies, but I do remember being very queasy/hungry when I went on California Screamin'. I really want to go back just to go on that ride again with a satisfied stomach so I can actually enjoy it! I did go on all the rides even though I was pregnant... hopefully that's not the reason Scott is so small. (Ssh... don't tell him.) 2009 was his first Christmas and we received some "Baby's First Christmas" ornaments from Matt's grandmother (bear) and mother (marshmallow snowman/s'more).
By 2010, Matt had started working and we started going to his company's AGM, Annual General Meeting. The first one was at a resort in Marco Island, Florida and it was glorious (seashell bauble). Then, for Christmas, Matt's family met in Dearborn, Michigan--Matt's grandmother bought us the bear ornaments. I had never been with so much of Matt's family for Christmas so it was so much fun!
In January 2011, Matt was asked to work for 3 weeks in California. I was pregnant with Bobby and did not want to be left alone with Scott for 3 weeks by myself. So, Matt went for a week and then Scott and I joined him later. My sister would pick me up from the hotel every morning and then Matt would pick us up at her house after work. It was a lot of fun for me--maybe not so much for Matt. On Matt's day off we went to Griffith Observatory with my sister and her family. In May, we had AGM in San Antonia, TX and that's where we got the truck ornament. You can't tell very well, but it has longhorn antlers on the front and is painted like the Texas flag. For Christmas, my family got together at a beach house in Florida. We were living in Georgia by then and had passes to the Georgia Aquarium, which was affiliated with Marineland--an "oceanarium" down the road from the beach house, where (for a fee) you can see dolphins and feed them and swim with them. We got free entrance to it, but we just watched the dolphins swim for a little while and then went back to hang out with the family. But, that's why we have a dolphin ornament.
So, in 2012 we started going a little crazy! I got a bunch of ornaments in Atlanta, where we were living. I got one from Georgia Aquarium before our passes expired (blue round one at the bottom) and we got a dinosaur from Fernbank Natural History Museum because we went there a lot since we had annual passes. I got one from Zoo Atlanta when I went with a friend and the kids (it's hard to see because of the big purple light behind it, but it's a tiny snow globe with a tiger inside). And I got a little train from the Atlanta Botanical Gardens because the kids and I went to the model train show they do for the holidays both Christmases we were in Atlanta. Good times. Matt had a meeting in Indianapolis for work at the Motor Speedway Museum and he got that black bauble. Then for AGM we went to Hawaii (!!) and went a little crazy. We bought ornaments at the Au Lani Resort (the flat wooden turtle), the Polynesian Cultural Center (the big bauble), the Dole Plantation, I think (the turtle with the flower in her hair), and Pearl Harbor (USS Arizona). And Finally, the little golden turtle was our souvenir of my birthday date with Matt to Cirque du Soleil's show Totem. It was a big year.
And 2013 got even crazier with the ornament collection. Matt went to Laos in January to do the demo to the Laotian government and on the way back stopped for a night in Tokyo--fulfilling a lifelong dream. He picked out the two little Japanese figures. Then we had AGM in Phoenix in March (the hand-painted bauble in the top left). I got an ornament from Stone Mountain Park in Georgia (the grey square one) because I took the boys a few times when Matt was out of town and it's where Bobby broke his leg, so we didn't want to forget that :-/ Then while Matt was working on the Laos project, I went to visit my in-laws in Idaho and we went to Yellowstone for a couple of days (bear hugging Christmas tree) and then I visited my sister about an hour away from my in-laws, and we went to the Tautphaus Park Zoo (zebra). And then we went to our family reunion near Seattle, WA, where I picked up the little ferry boat in Port Townsend. Next up was our move to Laos. The little map of Laos with the flag on it is hiding at the bottom and then at the top with the golden monument is Patuxay--we pass it almost everyday and it's not gold, it's made of cement. I bought that little cream-colored box thing at Buddha Park in Thailand, but I'm not sure you can tell that it has a carving in it. We went to Malaysia for a weekend for Matt's work and that's the ornament with the little city on it. And then we went to Hong Kong where we picked up a glass bauble at Madame Tussaud's, Buzz Lightyear and an Alien at Hong Kong Disneyland, and a little photo frame from Ocean Park. This has been a BUSY year!
Also this year, I learned how to bead at the sewing group affiliated with the Women's International Group here. So, I made these... I saw one like the small blue one and then got creative.
And I got together with some playgroup mom friends and made these... Scott is on the left and Bobby on the right.
So, maybe you didn't want to know THAT much about our Christmas tree, but I've wanted to write it all down for a long time and actually it took a good while to try to remember it all. I knew where everything was from, but WHEN was a lot harder. I even had to retake pictures of 2007 and 2008 because I got all confused. So I hope it wasn't too boring, but it was mostly for me anyway ;)

I'll post about the rest of our decorations next... It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas... inside at least.


Cami said...

What an awesome way to document your travels! I buy magnets in cities we live in (and some we visit) but that's about it. And I am impressed with your many travels; that's a lot of trips. :)

Becky said...

Cami, i think it was actually too many trips (traveling with kids is NOT vacation!). i'm content for now to just take occasional shopping trips to Udon Thani, Thailand (about an hour drive) until our trip back to the US in March. but i've been told that April and May here are unbearable because of the heat, so maybe we'll keep the suitcases out for a while after that. but for now, i just want to enjoy the best season of the year here!

Becky said...
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Jessica May Lords said...

Hey Becky! We love our ornament, thank you so much! I loved reading about your adventures, and I laughed at the Scott being small because of the rollercoasters. :) also, my grandpa lives in Port Townsend and loves it there; I've never been.

Alicia said...

You'll have to tell me how to make those cute Santa hand-print ornaments! Those are darling! I'm jealous of all your souvenirs. I do magnets, but I've gotten one or two ornaments, and every Christmas I wish I would have gotten them all along :)