The world is your oyster!: December 2013        

These are a few of my favorite things:

pina-colada flavored italian ice
dance parties
dressing up
love :)


My name is Heather.

I am 22 years old.

I am an East Coast girl
who also loves Utah.

I love my life. How could I not?

The world is my oyster :)
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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Good Morning, Your Dog Died.

Waking up on Christmas morning is like....well, like waking up on Christmas morning. You wake up suddenly, and the air feels fizzy, and you know that it's the beginning of the best day ever. {Or at least the best day that year...}

Waking up on the day after Christmas is like waking up the day after your dog died. And you wake up kind of slowly and then all day it kind of sinks in that your dog is never coming back, and you keep remembering your dog as you go about your day, and by the end of the day you just feel rumpled and depressed.

Christmas morning this year was just as fizzy as the Christmas mornings of other years. It started at about 8:00, when the little boys woke up.

{I wish I had pictures to share of that, but they are all in Indiana and I am not.}

Luckily, the day after Christmas this year didn't start until 11:30, and when I did wake up, it was to kisses and hugs, and when I got up after that, it was to spend an hour putting on Natalie's fancy makeup and curling my hairs with her fancy curling iron so that we could go and eat lunch at the cutest little fancy historic lunch / brunch / dessert place I have ever seen: L.S. Ayres' Tea Room.

L.S. Ayres used to be really hoppin and iconic of Indianapolis, but then Macey's bought it and shut down the restaurant, which was the L.S. Ayres Tearoom. Stephen's mom went a few times with her mom so it was a really fun memory for her, and the Indiana Museum reopened the tea room just for the month of Diciembre 2013, so all the girls got to go (me, Stephanie, Natalie, Diane, her sister Angie, and their mom, Stephen's grandma).
We had hot chocolate and yummy sammiches and salad and soup, and they checked our coats, and it was just really fun!  

You know what I really like? Whenever we go out, Diane says: "These are all my daughters," or, "Can you get a picture of me and my daughters?" I know I'm not really her daughter, but it is so sweet.
The plan for tonight was ice skating. But when we arrived, there was no ice on one rink, and the only sign of life was a hockey team practicing on the other rink and two very nice black guys walking around with a boombox ish thing and also wondering where the ice rink was.
So instead, we wandered around the square, which was all lit up for Christmas and was home to the biggest fake Christmas tree in the world.
This was their first date years (and years and years and years...jk...) ago!

This is a statue that somebody thought was a good idea, but the rest of the world is just confused by.

This is some guy.

This is either a nutcracker or a steadfast tin soldier.

This is where people used to ice skate, but now it's all dry and people can only dream of skating in such a perfect ambiance.

This is across the street from the real  L.S. Ayres. See that clock? That's how you know!

Not too shabby for the day after Christmas :)

Baby Jesus and a Shimp-Load of Presents

Christmas, at the Shimp home, is not just a one-day celebration. It is not even a two-day holiday.

It is a month-long festival, and when you cram all of that yuletide into the one week that your college kids are home, it becomes a week of dashing through the snow from mall to family party to classy Christmas event and back to the mall, at high speed and dragging along as many brothers and sisters as possible. Also, food.

This is us at the Scottish Rite Cathedral in Indianapolis. We watched the Nutcracker Ballet! Which is basically the music of my childhood, so I was in heaven the whole time. And Stephen liked it too.

We had a Christmas gift exchange for the kids on Christmas Eve. Stephen gave to Michael and Logan, and he told them he had gotten them a Hershey's bar. It was actually a rocket....that he ended up assembling on Christmas. 
Then we got our Christmas jammies!! And Stephen ruined some pictures. And so did Brandon. 

The whole family got Christmas jammies! I love this tradition!

My favorite decoration in the house was this ginormous ball of mistletoe. It is a very popular hangout with the newlywed couple and the engaged couple, and also the married-with-seven-kids couple. 

The girls and their Christmas jammies :) 

We like each other. 
 This is another tradition that they do - every year, someone hides the pickle ornament somewhere on the Christmas tree, while everyone else waits in a different room. Then the person who finds it gets a Christmas book that they read to the whole family, and they are the one who hides the pickle the next year.

...GUESS who found the pickle this year??

Well it was me :) I promise they didn't just let me win, either. I know because there were tears.

Then I read "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" in my best teacher voice and it was on to the next tradition of making gingerbread houses!

 This was not a "let's build our gingerbread houses and whoever has the most fun is the winner" kind of contest. Teams were picked out 2 weeks ago. Barricades were put up between competition sites so other teams couldn't look. And we were given a time limit of 18 minutes.

So it got a little intense and some feelings got a little hurt, but in the end, three works of art sat on the table, ready to be judged.

At some point in the middle of the night (or at 6:45 in them morning), Santa came and filled up the living room with gifts!

So that's how Christmas began up in here. More pictures to come of the rest of our break :) 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Shimp Home for the Holidays

This year is my first year not going home for Christmas.

.....I KNOW. Hash tag, big girl.

Instead of Baltimore lights twinkling up into my airplane window on Friday, I experienced the lights of Indianapolis for the fist time.

Then I experienced:

-some delicious cheesy bread, sugar cookies, peanut butter fudge, and cold medicine
-getting tackled by little boys who quickly stopped when they realized I was not their sister
-using all of Natalie's makeup since I apparently left all of mine in Utah
-going out Christmas shopping in the middle of Indianapolis flooding

{I'm serious. I got an emergency weather alert txt telling me to stay away from potential flooding areas}

-sleeping with Stephen in the bed his parents assigned to us. Oh, with his brother in the same bed.
-the Christmas program in the Indy 1st ward, which included a fabulous special musical number and donuts after the meeting
-a Christmas dinner at an interior designer grandma's BEAUTIFUL home

-a conversation that went like this:

me: Brandon, are you taller than me now?
We stand up to measure ourselves and find that he is a good 3 inches taller.
Diane: Oh yeah, I can't keep him in the same pair of pants for more than a month! He just grows out of them so fast!

-followed by a riveting game of boys vs. girls Catchphrase

-in which I got "growing pains," and the timer was speeding up, and it was up to me to help my team guess it, and I blurted out: "Okay, this is what....Brandon keeps doing this out of his pants."

-and my team didn't guess it and instead just got really confused.

-so I said, "Diane was just telling me about it!"

-and then people just laughed instead of guessing and I had to try something else.

There's no place like home for the holidays, but there's an H on one of the stockings here, and Natalie drew me in the family picture she put in Eric's room, and I'm surrounded by people I love. Besides which, there's a huge ball of mistletoe that I can stand under whenever I want. So for my first Christmas away from home, it's going to be a pretty nice one :)