Thursday, January 27, 2011


im feeling a little blue tonight. guess ill go eat some ice cream.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

lets start from the top.

like i said in a previous post, life got crazy after christmas, so without further ado i will start from the top.


yes- it has been a month since we celebrated our Savior's birth. but i still want to tell you about it. this year was a bit of a different and special circumstance. we were down two of our most valuable players.

the hansen family has a special way of celebrating christmas. it doesnt just last for one day, it lasts almost an entire week.

the weekend before christmas we headed up to bear lake to celebrate in the snow. we ate lots of good food, watched our favorite movies, played games and had our annual white elephant gift exchange.

stella is as beautiful as always. this month she will be ONE! ahh. time goes by too fast!
the bickleys brought some ugly sweaters to kick off the festive celebration

landon. oh landon. he took charge and kept us all on course as we bickered and deceived to get exactly what we wanted.
hermana bickley and grandpa. alice just got reassigned to the san diego california mission. she is one amazing lady.
we always have so much fun together. i am so thankful that my grandma and grandpa have had a cabin for us all to gather and enjoy. it is the best.
my mom is seriously such a babe.

sam was just as deceitful as the rest of us in this game. he brought a gift that he wanted and made sure he was the one that ended up with it in the end.
taigen wondering why she got stuff to work out...(her thought bubble) 'who works out? does cheerleading count?'
my deceiving wasnt very victorious... i got a cape. and these awesome shoes. except i didnt get them i just borrowed them for the picture. along with my ugly sweater. the funny thing is that if it were 2001 this sweater would be totally cool.
ah the lovely.
grandpa did a little jig in the shoes too.

when we got home from partying at the cabin we decided to start a new tradition.
let me preface.

every year on christmas eve my entire hansen family stays at my aunt and uncles house (grandma and grandpa, aunts and uncles, cousins, grandkids, EVERYONE). because we have done this all of my life we started a tradition when we were young that the eve before christmas eve we as an immediate family would have a sleepover and then exchange presents with each other on christmas eve morning...

ok now that you understand.

this year the eve before christmas eve started with a chat from elder jace. what a rockstar! his mission president told them to call before christmas because he worried the phone lines would block up (this really happened- a few of jaces friends couldnt call their parents at all because they couldnt get through).
anyways we spent a good hour on the eve of eve's talking with jace and learning all about bolivia. the dirt, the mosquitos, the rice and beans, and the beautiful people. jace has struggled a little bit because he is the only english speaker in his entire district. he is in a rural area with a bolivian companion. (at this time) he felt like he didnt know spanish or english.. so he was stuck. but he was so excited because on christmas day it was his first baptism. what a wonderful christmas gift!

he is doing wonderful and working hard to learn the language. he loves the people and the culture and his companion! im so proud of him. i know how hard it has been loosing my dad, even while having the support on a daily basis of everyone around me. jace has made a huge sacrifice leaving and trying to deal with the sadness that comes from loosing your dad.

as the day went on taryn and i went to gather some groceries. we decided to start a NEW tradition. i love traditions.

we decided to start the annual 'DADS DINNER'!!!
this dinner is dedicated to him and everything he loves.

i wanted to do something special for each of my siblings, so i printed off my very favorite picture of my dad and gave one to each of them and my mom.
lots of sundays my dad would cook us london broil... so the boys took on the grill and made us delicious steaks.
my dad drake lots of coke (way to much coke) so of course we had to serve coke to everyone.
london broil

we had a great night remembering dad and all of our wonderful memories of him.
take a look at this cheeser. she makes life so much better!
we made everyone else do the cheeser picture too. not as cute...
after dinner we had mango ice cream (mangos are another of his favorite things) and we were going to watch his favorite christmas movie (a christmas story) but decided to play games instead. lots of fun. and an awesome new tradition!!!

christmas eve morning was different. we could tell we were physically missing some large pieces to our family, but i know they were both with us. both in mind and spirit. we are so lucky to have the knowledge of eternal families. i cant say that enough.

my mom and dad have created such a beautiful sanctuary of a home. (no my dad never helped with the decorating) he did however help to teach us to do what was right. look at how beautiful their home is though.
my good friend courtney made this hat for me to give to stella. ah so cute
this is pretty much the only picture we got of the two of us. ( i love salt and vinegar chips)
ah. next is the book. oh the book.... back in june i emailed everyone in my family- both on my moms side and my dads side. i asked everyone- grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, cousins and siblings to write my dad a letter. i asked them to write things they love about him and their favorite memories about him.
i worked really hard on it... but didnt finish it before he passed away.
i have been terribly upset about not finishing it for him to see before he died, but i have realized that it wasnt just about him seeing it.
amazingly enough because of this book, when he was close to death and we were all gathered around him, i was able to read some of the letters written to him. i know he could hear me. not only that but it brought a beautiful addition to the already consuming spirit that was with us.

after he passed away we realized it would be our responsibility to gather pictures for a slideshow and gather stories and information for his life sketch.
pictures had all been scanned into my computer previously and stories upon stories were written in letters also found on my computer.
it was because of this that made everything so. much. easier. we didnt have to do much. just choose from the hundreds of scanned in pictures and the hundreds of stories written by his mom, brothers, sister, wife and kids.

i believe it was a miracle. it was. after my dad died, i had no desire to finish the book. each letter i read was heartbreaking for me. and each picture i looked at honestly made me frustrated. but i knew that it needed to be done. and i knew it would be a treasure each of us would cherish forever. so i worked on it... for a long time. and christmas eve morning it arrived on our doorstep just as we started breakfast.

( really it deserves its own post, so that will come later)

after breakfast we started another new tradition. ill be honest its not one of my favorite ones.
but again we sang christmas songs, talked about dad, and shed a few tears.

(im sure my mom would love me to say that the difference in color from the headstone to the connecting piece saying 'eternity' was not her doing. the headstone company will be fixing this to match the rest of the headstone shortly :))

isnt taryn beautiful. no wonder stella is so stinkin cute!!!

after we left the arimo cemetery we went to the annual hansen sleepover. i cant believe i didnt take anymore pictures after this, but christmas continued and we enjoyed talking about our saviors life, opening presents and again talking about dad.

christmas afternoon we drove to preston to spend time with sams family. we were missing a lot of people there too. but we still enjoyed the fire, swedish bread and hot chocolate.

i guess life is about learning and learning to deal with change in the best way possible.
change isnt always what we want or are expecting, but its ok. and life continues and is still good.


Friday, January 14, 2011

a bicycle built for two.

this is what riding around a bahaman island on a moped looks like.
{i have about a hundred more pictures just like these}

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


blogging is the absolute last thing i should be doing right now.

since christmas life has been a whirlwind.

a really really good whirlwind.

*a few days before christmas we got to talk to elder hansen {jasper}

*christmas was really special. really really hard. but special.

*new years was a little hard for me too for some reason, but lots of fun with good friends

*we are moved.... not even close to unpacked. but officially utahans. dont tell sam i said that. he likes to refer to this as our 'temporary place of residence'.

*we went on the annual homeshield cruise. so wonderful. bahamas? yes i think i will.

*i started my internship. wow. wow. wow. it will be incredible. but i have a lot and i mean A LOT to learn. the church is such an amazing organization- i had no idea how much it takes to run such a huge ship- and its done so well. it has to be the Lord's church.

*oh and school started somewhere in there too. online classes for both of us. im auditing a class through the U... so tuesdays and thursdays i get to enjoy the color red. red is much better than orange.

pictures? maybe later. i have a meeting tomorrow and i have to study up on what they are going to be talking about...