Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My Birthday

Just wanted to give a big thanks to my wonderful husband who treated me to a wonderful dinner at Macaroni Grill and gave me a beautiful sweater and a gift certificate to one of my favorite restaurants - P.F. Chang's for my birthday. Thanks for making my birthday such a great day. He is an awesome guy and treats me with so much love and respect. I am so lucky to be married to such an awesome guy. Love you tons!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Just wanted to wish you all a Happy New Year! We hope that it will be one filled with many wonderful memories of good times spent with family and friends. We are so grateful to all of you for the many wonderful memories we created in 2008 and look forward to many more in 2009 with all of you.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ring in the Bells
Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert
December 13, 2008
We had the wonderful opportunity to go hear the Tabernacle Choir's annual Christmas concert with Mark's mom and dad. It was a wonderful evening. Before we headed to the concert we decided to meet for dinner. We went to the Little America Coffee Shop which is always a nice meal. While Mark & I were sanding in line to be seated the most awesome thing happened. President and Sister Monson came out of the restaurant. What a wonderful experience to see the Prophet so close and to feel his love for all of us. He greeted everyone with a friendly smile and even joked with some of the people. You could see the love radiate from him for each one of us. I must say that was the best part of the whole evening. I never would think that I would ever be that close to the Prophet of the Church. He is truly a man of God sent to direct the church for our days.

The concert was a very special treat. Brian Stokes Mitchell was the featured guest singer along with Edward Hermann who read an thoughtful story about Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and how the song "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" came to be written. I never knew that he lost his wife to a house fire and later his son to a war injury. It was a touching story of despair and hope. It brought such a wonderful message of peace during these troubling times. It helped me to reflect on all that our Heavenly Father has given us and the peace of coming to know our Savior and his atonement can bring about joy we all are seeking for. I also enjoyed the wonderful songs that were sung by Brian Stokes Mitchel about being grateful and the joy of the Christmas Season. As always the choir is so awesome to listen to. It was a very wonderful evening and we were so glad that we were able to share this time with Mark's parents.

May we all reflect on the Birth of the Savior at this Christmas season. He is why we celebrate this beautiful time of year. We wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Val & Benda's 50th Aniversary

On September 8, 2008 Val & Benda celebrated their 50Th wedding anniversary. What a great honor is was to be able to celebrate such an occasion with them. Mark & I along with John, Tracy, Aaron, Aidan, Addison, Paul, Catherine, Hallie and Phil took them out to dinner and then had cake and ice cream at the home with some of the extended family.
They are a wonderful example to all of us. Their testimony of the Gospel is such a strength to each of us and I so enjoy learning from them as we share so many wonderful experiences with them. They have been such a great support to me with the passing of my parents and I am truly grateful that I have them in my life. They have been such great parents two 5 wonderful sons and one beautiful daughter. I have been truly blessed to have married into such an awesome family.

Our fun did not end there, a couple of weeks later we went on a cruise. We sure missed having Phil and Emily along but hope that next time they can join in the fun. Those of us from Utah took a midnight flight out to Miami were we met up with Dave & Kelly and Nate & Nancy. Our first day was spent on the ship cruising to our first stop. We spent the day eating, relaxing by the pool and enjoying time together.

Our first stop was the Grand Caymans where we swam with the sting rays and did a little snorkeling. The ocean was so clear and beautiful. It was so awesome being out in the middle of the ocean being surrounded by such incredible fish. Some of us were a little leary of doing it but loved every minute of it. It was one of the highlights of the trip for me.

Our next stop was the beautiful island of Roatan, Honduras where we took a van tour of the island and once again did some awesome beach time in the Caribbean Ocean.

Then it was on to Belize City, Belize. We spent the day doing a lot of awesome shopping. I loved bargaining with the locals and getting a taste of the wonderful culture there.
From Belize we headed to the beautiful resort island of Cozumel, Mexico. There we spent the day a a great beach resort where we snorkeled, ate yummy food, did a little sun tanning and swimming in the pool. After spending most of our day at the beach we headed into town to do some more shopping. What a great time we all had at the beach enjoying the last of the swimming in the Caribbean Ocean.

Our last day on the ship we celebrated the anniversary with a little cake at dinner. It was an honor to be able to spend the week with Mark's sibling and spouses but most of all to be able to honor to of the most amazing people I know - Val & Benda Neuenswander. Congratulations on some many wonderful years together and many more to come.