Thursday, December 15, 2011

I Married a Winner!

We were invited to an Ugly Christmas Sweater party.

Well, if it had been a few years ago, we would have had plenty of sweaters to choose from.  The one Jeff is wearing in the picture below (1992) was a Christmas staple for years.


I’m sure it was in the closet until recently.  (Notice how I don’t mention the sweater I’m wearing?)

Of course, truly ugly sweaters are never appreciated as such in the era in which they reside.  Or, maybe they are and we are just clueless.  Hmmm.  A mystery of life to ponder.

Regardless, I set off to find ugly Christmas sweaters.  Prizes were involved, we had to make an effort.

I was stuck at home one day and thought I’d search that online garage sale called eBay.  I found a lovely winter accessory themed vest with 3-D effects (pompoms). 

All for $3.99 and $6.49 shipping.  Money well spent.  Done.

But then I started looking for Jeff.

Did you know there’s such a thing as “vintage ugly Christmas sweaters”?  They want upwards of $100 or more for such things!!  Uh, no.

For instance:

Then I just “googled” ugly Christmas sweaters.  Guess what?  WHOLE STORES are devoted to ugly Christmas sweaters!   Check THIS out!  However, still a little pricey for a joke.

So, I had a coupon and JC Penney was advertising some sweaters so we headed to the mall.  However, the sale had expired so we were still looking at $30 for the one with reindeers on it.  Jeff at least reasoned he might buy a more questionable sweater that he MIGHT wear again for $30 so he chose THIS.  Meanwhile, he also picked up a few solid color sweaters on sale for $12.  Big spenders, eh?

However, we knew the sweater he purchased was not a prize winner.  BUT, he had an idea!  What if we converted one of the plain $12 sweaters into a MASTERPIECE?  Yes, that’s the ticket.  So we returned the mediocre $30 sweater and went to work.

We brainstormed.  I don’t think he slept at all that night as his mind was awhirl as he created.  I drew inspiration from an old ornament I found that one of the kids had made in elementary school—a construction paper reindeer with handprints made into antlers.  Jeff made a special trip to WalMart and we had everything we needed.

We arrived at the party and there were several good contenders…


Some couples came with a theme.


Extra credit for headgear and the little dance he did whenever you asked (his hat wiggled too).


Our party hosts (sans their wives, I hasten to explain).  The tall one is wearing his mother’s sweater and she was a little offended when she heard why he wanted to borrow it (it also has a recipe for sugar cookies embroidered on the back!).  The other one is wearing all women’s clothing.  Just because he likes to.


Winners for best couple.  I think it’s obvious they went the extra mile.  We think they just wanted to get their money’s worth for the hairpieces they picked up for Dionne’s 70’s themed party last year.


Whatever.  He didn’t even wear a SWEATER!?!

But no, here was the winner…




The lights add just that little something it needed and created a nice glow when we were outside.  I only wish the pictures adequately showed the 3D effect of the reindeer head which is one of my socks, stuffed, and sewn on where it meets the antlers.   Incongruently, when Jeff added the tongue, he forked it--like a snake. 

Hands off, girls.  He’s mine!

What did he win?  Oh, the last pick in the white elephant gift exchange.  So, 10 lottery scratcher tickets.

By the way, how many Mormons (with several advanced college degrees between them) does it take to figure out the instructions on a lottery ticket?  Well, at one time we had at least eight trying to figure it out.  We THINK we won $8.  But now we have to figure out how to redeem them.

Fun night, thanks to our hosts!   We hope it will become an annual event.  Although, now the bar has been set.  We’ll have to start planning now.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Meeting Zorrita, aka “Zoey”

Yes, I am a pleaser.

My birthday present, my puppy.  But….

My Mexican Missionary wanted a Spanish name.  My (very vocal and persistent) son at home liked Zoey.  In fact, I think he would have called her Zoey no matter what I named her. 

I had looked at puppies last summer and found this little fuzzball that I immediately dubbed Sugar, so that was the name that had stuck with me. 

We picked her up from the airport on Nov. 6th:


Brave girl.  She flew all the way from Arkansas.  All by her self.


She was so tiny.  We thought we’d let her out at the little patch of grass at LAX, but it was so loud and chaotic we decided just to go home first.


Bryce tried to lure her out of the kennel as we drove home.  She would stick her nose out, even got her front paws out a few times, but would not come out.  Bryce put a small towel out on the seat in front of the kennel for her to sit on, but she just dragged it into her kennel (see the red towel in the picture below).  She was perfectly fine to just hang out in her safe place.


We finally coaxed her out at home.  It was raining, but she didn’t care.  Every leaf commanded full attention.


She dragged around branches 3X her size. 

FINALLY I got to hold her!


Bryce posted his picture with her on Facebook.  Puppies are real chick magnets.  Just sayin’.

But there was one more introduction that needed to be made.


Umm.  Houston we have a problem.  Sparky wanted to eat her.  Severely maim at a minimum.

She kissed him, she rolled over for him, she crawled on her belly demonstrating her immediate and undying devotion and submission.

He growled, bared his teeth and snapped.

He growled for 3 days straight, I think he eventually broke his growler.

So that first night, they spent a lot of time apart.


She’d had a big day. 

She snuggled in and fell asleep on Bryce’s lap while we were skyping with Tyler, cozy under her new snuggie courtesy of Dionne.  We melted.

She fooled us into thinking she could have been a Sugar.  We didn’t understand then that she was just EXTREMELY sleepy.

But she’s definitely a Zoey now.