Monday, January 23, 2006

Jon's First Surprise Party

The whole gang at Applebee's for Jon's 30th birthday.
Joining me, Jon, and Aaron were Cary and Warren Brown (with Emma and Cami), Hilari and Paul Howard (with Haley, Colton, and Emily), Rebekah and Derek Rose (with Matthew and Joshua), and Darice and Ryan Bosley (with Carson and Morgan)
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Happy Birthday Jon!

Hey Everybody! Jon is now 30!

Amidst teasings and jests about his impending "old age" (including those from his almost 31-year-old wife), Jon turned the big 3-0 on Friday, January 20th. Now, I love birthdays (particularly mine), so of course I wanted to do something special for my Sweetheart's 30th birthday. Unfortunately, planning a party for him turned out to be more difficult than I had expected because everytime I would bring up the subject of a birthday bash, Jon would become very non-committal, even uninterested in the idea of having a party with our friends. Of course, with as many kids as there are adults now in our small group of friends, group gatherings have become less of a fun, social experience and more of a crazed episode of Fear Factor as the adults try to referee or salvage everything from fights over toys and sippy cups, to hungry and tired temper tantrums, to daredevil stunts and the ingestion of anything inedible (rocks, bugs, dirt, Drano--you get the idea.) Anyway, accepting our social lot in life (heck, we have 3 more kids due between now and June within our circle of friends), I wasn't willing to give up the idea of having a party for Jon's birthday. Finally, after continual badgering of the birthday boy regarding what he might want to do, I eventually got out of him that he had always hoped that someone would throw him a surprise party. Shheeeesh! How are you supposed to throw a surprise party for someone who asks for one? Kinda removes the whole element of surprise--the key ingredient to a good "surprise" party. Well, not wanting to disappoint my dear husband, I set to work on ways I could still surprise him for his big day.

Since Jon's birthday was on Friday, a school day, I got up super early (5:15am!) to spend some time with him before he headed off to work, which since he wasn't expecting that, I suppose qualifies as a surprise. Then later that morning (and this was my favorite part), I drove out to his school in Chandler and decorated his car with Post-it notes filled with fun messages, balloons, and a love letter outlining the "Top 30 Reason Why I Love You". Of course, I could think of many more than 30 reasons, but for the sake of his 30th birthday, I decided that would do. So, that was his second surprise. Then, that night, Jon and I had planned to go to Applebee's for dinner with just the 2 of us (and Aaron), so as my final surprise, I arranged for all of our friends to meet us there for a big party. SURPRISE! Jon loved having all of his friends there, but I have to admit, it was better in theory than in practice as it took us about 2 hours for them to seat our party of 20 (10 adults/10 kids). But it was still a blast, everyone had fun, and the kids (who by the time we were seated were all starving and exhausted) did remarkably well. But the thing I think Jon enjoyed the most about the evening was going back to Cary and Warren's home and having all the parents put their kids down so that we could enjoy some real adult conversation completely uninterrupted. And by golly, it worked! We had 7 kids soundly snoozing away throughout the house, while 8 adults just relaxed and chatted like the good ol' days. Heck, that might have been the biggest surprise all day! All in all, I think Jon had a great birthday. And I was even able to make it one full of surprises.

Happy 30th Birthday Jon!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Finally "Baby Girl" Gets a Name

Well, I think Jon and I finally decided on a name for our soon-to-arrive little girl. Of course, we still have almost 3 months to change our minds, but I think we may have a winner...

Sarah Ashlyn Coombs

Jon picked the first name (although we are both partial to Biblical names) and I picked the middle name (one my mom mentioned to me that just kinda stuck with me.) Doesn't she sound beautiful already? =)

Monday, January 09, 2006

Happy New Year!!

Jon and I celebrated the New Year with Mom, Dad, Crystal and Kekoa up in St. George. It was a small gathering, but filled with lots of fun, tons of food, and all-night game playing. Even Mom and Dad stayed up to ring in the New Year, something they hadn't expected to do. And, of course, I got to kiss my Sweetheart at midnight. What more could you ask for in a New Year's Celebration!
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This was the grounds of our beautiful resort in Las Vegas. The large Mayan temple behind us actually has a cascading waterfall (that was unfortunately turned off for the winter) with a hot tub underneath on one side, and water slides on the other. We'll enjoy coming back here again during warmer months to enjoy the huge pool, multiple hot tubs, and shaded hammocks that dot the lush grounds.
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Aaron had a blast playing at FAO Schwartz inside the Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace. This was definitely our favorite place on the Strip.
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Ringing in 2006

Wow, such a fun and exciting Christmas and New Year's, I hardly know where to begin! First of all, we hope you all had a great holiday as well, and we wish you all the greatest for 2006.

Jon and I actually stayed in Queen Creek for Christmas this year and celebrated the day with Cary and Warren and their girls. We enjoyed a great choir performance directed by our musically-talented Cary at her church building, went back to the Brown's home for cinnamon rolls and orange rolls (special request--i.e. requirement--of Jon) and later had a traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings at our home. It was my first year doing a turkey with stuffing, and I have to admit I thought it came out great, as did my homemade rolls. I'm all set now for next Thanksgiving!

Our real vacation started the day after Christmas, however. Jon had the two weeks following Christmas off, so we left for a 10-day trip that included 5 days in Las Vegas and 5 days in St. George with Mom and Dad Coombs. In Vegas, we got to stay at our time share, the Cancun Resort, for the first time and it was absolutely beautiful. It will be an even more fun place to visit during the summer when it will be warm enough to enjoy the huge pool and waterslides. Unfortunately, (or maybe fortunately), Jon has an almost allergic reaction to the Strip in Las Vegas, so out of our 5 days there, we probably spent maybe 4 hours on the Strip, but we actually found lots of fun things to do away from Sin Central, including touring the Ethel M.'s chocolate factory and seeing their cactus garden all decked out with holiday lights, visiting an old western village complete with a melodrama and other productions and a petting zoo, and catching up on a couple of movies that we had been wanting to see. (King Kong was really good, but Chronicles of Narnia was exceptional.) What made the Vegas experience really nice, however, was that Mom and Dad Coombs and Crystal kindly offered to keep Aaron for 2 days while Jon and I enjoyed some much desired time alone. We dropped Aaron off on Wednesday afternoon in St. George, drove back to LV for 2 days, and then headed back to St. George Friday afternoon. This was the first time Jon and I had left Aaron for longer than half a day since he was born, and although we both had been looking forward to the time alone, I have to admit, it was harder than I thought it would be! I cried for almost 20 minutes after we left, and I missed him the whole time. Okay, maybe I am a little extra hormonal because of being pregnant and all, but both Jon and I were excited to see our cute boy when we got back to St. George. On the flip side, Aaron did just fine without us and charmed Grandma and Grandpa just like I knew he would.

The rest of our vacation in St. George was a blast, too. We didn't really do anything extra special, but just hanging out with Mom, Dad, Crystal and Kekoa was the best we could have asked for. We played lots of games, went for a beautiful hike over red rocks, looked at a couple of nice homes in the St. George area (for future reference, of course), and ate Mom's really good food. Jon and I also got to see the new Joseph Smith movie playing at the Temple Visitor Centers, and it was wonderful. Of course, it made me cry (again, I am pregnant), but I was comforted by the fact that most people in the room were also crying. Overall, the time at Mom and Dad's was wonderful and relaxing--we didn't want to leave.

Jon and I reluctantly returned home on Wednesday, January 4th, but it was fun coming home and having our new neighbors, the Roses, all moved in down the street! Cary and Warren hosted a big gathering of the old Las Campanas group on Friday night, and it was just like old times--only with bigger homes and more kids! We're totally looking forward to all the fun we'll be having together over this next year.

In other news, we also came home to a message from the Stake Executive Secretary asking to visit with Jon and his lovely wife. Right then, we knew Jon was in for a new calling, and we both started crossing our fingers and hoping it wasn't Elder's Quorum President. Well, Jon did get a new calling--he is the second counselor in the Elder's Quorum Presidency, so I guess our silent prayers were answered. He'll be a great member of the presidency and it doesn't surprise me at all that he's been called to serve. Jon is looking forward to getting to know all the men in Elder's Quorum better and working with the other members of the presidency, all of whom he loves and respects a great deal.

Well, Jon headed back to work today, and I settled back into my routine being Aaron's mom. Sadly the decorations are now all down and put away, and we still have over 350 days before we'll have another Christmas to enjoy, but until then, we have many fun and exciting events to look forward to, including Jon's 30th birthday on January 20th! We hope you all had a great holiday season, and may all your New Year's Resolutions hold true! We love you all!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Lights at the Mesa Temple

Jon, Aaron, and I loved going to see the lights at the Mesa Temple. We got to enjoy a beautiful high school choir perform and had fun hanging out with the Browns and the Bosleys. This will definitely be a fun family tradition for us as long as we're in Arizona. Posted by Picasa

Aaron was so cute clapping for all the lights and each musical number.
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