Sunday, December 21, 2008

Catching Up

We have been looking at all the nice Christmas cards and family pictures of our friends and family and thinking that we have not even sent Christmas cards this year or even updated our blog.

We will give you a quick update on the past few months.

On November 23, 2008, our little Camilla turned 6. She had a friend party before we left for Utah. She had a cooking party that included making pizzas and decorating cookies. The kids seemed to have a good time. The pizza was even good.

Kelly did a great job making the party great...not that she has had much practice. We have largely avoided having big birthday parties until this one. It usually ends up being a barbeque with our friends. I am sure Kelly will find a way to top this one next year.





For Thanksgiving we drove to Utah. Elizabeth did great on the trip (I think Kelly and the kids had a harder time than she did). I put them all in the back and cranked up the Ipod. We drove up the weekend before so that we would forget about the ride up before we had to return again.

At Grandma's, Camilla had a family birthday party with all the Norton cousins.







We had a great Thanksgiving will all my siblings except for Emily. We also had Uncle Paul and Aunt Sharon Norton over. Dad warned us (the boys and brothers-in-law) to be on our best behavior at least while Paul and Sharon were there. Of course, we tried extra hard to make sure the conversation veered of course to make my dad squirm a bit.

We had a great time staying up late talking in the front room with all my brothers and sisters just about every night.






Luke helped Grandpa fix some lights on the giant outdoor Christmas tree in the back yard. We had a tree lighting the night ceremony before everyone left home.



Yes, that tree is in my dad's back yard and it is huge. I think he rented a Genie lift last year to decorate it and the lights stay on the tree all year. The Griswold's have nothing on Big Steve.




The kids caught pink eye from the cousins while we were there. It took us two rounds of eye drops to get rid of that. Other than that, there were no casualties.

We were able to meet up with our good friends from law school--Peays and Michelis--at Temple Square for dinner and to see the lights. It was nice to visit with them and see the lights.

JSB Parking Incident II--I did have a brain-dead moment while looking for parking in downtown Salt Lake. To make room for all our stuff and another kid, we purchased a Thule cargo box for the SUV. I tried to park at the Joseph Smith Building, forgetting (or not knowing) my new heigth, I proceeded into the underground parking structure. I first struck a large metal pole hanging from chains indicating the maximum height. Luckily, it was on chains so it just slowly scraped across the top of the cargo box. However, what I faced next gave me great pause. There is a steep decent with cement beam at the bottom, which appeared as though it would shear my cargo rack right of the car. I stopped briefly right before the overhang to survey the imminent damage. Several other cars had followed me in and were watching with great amusement as I decided whether to proceed or not. Since there was no way I was backing out at this point, I kept going thinking there was no way to get under the ceiling. Somehow I made it under with out further damage. Each turn I made seemed more precarious, so I got out of there. The parking attendant said something like, "I would have stopped you if I would have noticed..." Other than some nice vacation battle scares on our new Thule, we made it out unscathed, which reminds me of another close encounter there.

JSB Parking Incident I--I am thinking I should not park there anymore. The last time I parked there, I was almost taken out by the LDS secret service...Let me explain. I was meeting a friend for lunch while I was in town. I was driving a rental Subaru Outback with a ski rack. I was following a black Lincoln (that how I remember it) into the JSB parking garage. I did not see any parking immediately but I did see a giant door open open with lots of parking on the other side so I followed that black Lincoln (okay so it was probably a Buick knowing the Church) not thinking a thing other than I was fortunate to find all these parking spaces. I found a nice spot and got out of my car, only to receive some strange looks from men in Mr. Mac-two-pant-suits. One man stared at me strangely, but I didn't care and proceeded to find a corridor that looked like it went to the JSB. I was being followed. He followed me like something out of a David Baldacci book. I later found out that the man stalking me was the driver of the black Buick with his VIP Church passengers. At the end of this long hall way, he finally got the stones to ask me what my business was there. I told him I was meeting a friend for lunch in the building. He told me I was in the private parking lot for the Church Offices and that I would have to move my car. At this point, it all started to make sense. The garage door had started to close on my rental car because I was not supposed to be following the car in front of me. The secret service dude was tailing me because he had unintentionally let me in (or failed to close the door before I got in also) and didn't want more than his tithing taken out of his next pay check. We walked together back to the rental car. It was surrounded by 4-5 more LDS secret service operatives with radio earbuds in their ears. I am sure they were puzzled by the Subaru with Colorado plates, which they were running by their superiors as we approached. Then I noticed I was parked on the front row in front of some doors that lead to Church offices, but not the Church office building but rather the office of the First Presidency. I also notice a placard hanging over "my" space indicating it was reserved, I assume, for someone who sits in one of the cushy red chairs a couple times a year. The driver was kind enough to explain to how it was that I had had infiltrated the super secret parking garage of those we revere. I was thankfully freed without even having to show my temple recommend. I don't know if it is the JSB or just the utter lack of parking that saps my brain when I enter, but I think I will try somewhere else to park.

4 comments:

ashycam said...

Wow. I don't like parking in Salt Lake at anytime, but if I had that experience (either one) I would definately be cured from Salt Lake parking. We are glad that Camilla had two wonderful birthday celebrations.

Kristina said...

Hilarious! Loved the stories!!! Only you would do all that, you know!!
Shane & Kristina

Kamilli Vanilli said...

That's pretty funny about you busting into the First Presidency offices. If it makes you feel any better, I had an almost identical experience parking in Downtown SLC with the top of our van scraping all the signs in the parking garage. It was awesome.

Melissa Bosen said...

That is so hilarious. I had to have Mike come and read it too. Now I'm going to be looking for the "fake doors" to the secret parking area when I'm there.