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Monday, December 29, 2008

Before Santa Came...

We were plenty busy! Matt wrapped up his finals while I spent some quality time with my girls...

... then I flew out to Colorado to celebrate the end of his second-to-last semester.

We went out for fondue at the Mona Lisa in Manitou Springs, which was all decked out for the holidays.

Then bowl practice ended and Matt got to come home! He made it just in time for my work's Ugly Sweater Christmas Party.

I took home first place for my tacky ensemble (those are jingle bells on the tree) but had he been eligible for the contest, Matt would have beat me by a landslide. Feel free to click on the picture below to see what I mean!

We traded in our ugly sweaters for nicer attire that night and went to our friend Kristalee's gorgeous wedding reception before seeing the lights on Temple Square and heading up to Brigham.

Lokalgrown (Matt's brother Nate's band) put on an awesome Christmas concert that Saturday.

And then we enjoyed the Morman Tabernacle Choir at Music and the Spoken Word that Sunday with my family
(it's a tradition of ours to go the Sunday before Christmas).

And in other good news... one of Matt's best friends, Mike, just got home from a semester in Spain! We went to the Candlelight Christmas at This is the Place State Park with him & his super cute date Molly.

Then came Christmas... which I'll get to when I get back from Dallas :-) Happy New Year, everyone!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

It's Matt's winter break right now so we've been busy!
I'll have plenty to blog about when he heads back to the Academy, but until then we just wanted to say
Merry Christmas!

We're so grateful for our Savior and the true meaning of this holiday.
PS-Isn't this Simon Dewey painting beautiful?

Monday, December 8, 2008

To answer your questions...

Nicole is apparently 50 years old. And I am 60.

Remember that good ol' broken hip I had a couple years ago? And the water aerobics rehab?*

Yes, well on top of that, Nicole and I just recently discovered that we have bunions (it's genetic).
I don't have time for surgery and she did, so she is now the proud owner of a walking cast and normal feet. I hope to get my normal feet in approximately two years when I've accomplished my running goals.

In the meantime, all Coley and I can think about is that awful commercial with the grandma from a few years ago. You know the one: "I've always wanted to dance at my daughter's wedding, but with my painful bunions..."

No laughing, please.

*Just for the record, Liz and I fully enjoyed my water aerobics rehab. AND we were very good at it--beat the grandma's down the pool every time :-)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Is it December already?

Wow, that one flew by fast! I guess time flies when you're having fun... and it especially flies when Matt's in town. He got here Tuesday night and we kicked off the holidays my favorite way on Wednesday by going to Savior of the World, a beautiful play about Christ's birth and resurrection. The Savior and His gospel are the two things I am most grateful for in my life, and I love being reminded of that in such a powerful way this time of year. I've been lucky to spend this holiday season with the other things I’m most thankful for—Matt, my family, and good friends.

That includes our favorite brunettes, Sterling & Alicia, who came to the play with us :-)

We spent last Thanksgiving with the Davises and this was an off-year for the big Graf Thanksgiving, so we just had a nice Thanksgiving at home with my family and my Smith grandparents.

It was rather relaxing.

After shopping on Friday, we headed up to Brigham for the weekend. I somehow managed to get zero pictures of the festivities up north but we had a good time watching football (OU-OSU anyone?), playing games and just hanging out.

We also did some shopping with Matt's mom and sisters in Salt Lake on Saturday, which allowed us to sneak away for a little bit to join my family (including my aunt Janell from NJ!) on our annual Temple Square lights trip.

I think Joshie was glad we (read: Matt) made it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Know any Texans with a couch?

Looks like there's about a 99.7% chance the Falcons will end up in the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, TX.

Seeing as I promised Matt I'd go to Air Force's bowl game this year and the airfare to + car rental in Dallas are already going to cost me 3 arms and 2 legs, I'm looking for a nice someone with an empty one of these:

Any variation within a 1-hour drive of Amon Carter Stadium in Fort Worth will do.

I'm not kidding.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bleeding blue!

Last Saturday was the long-awaited Air Force vs. BYU game in the Springs! Just for the record, Sydna was right about me taking the diplomatic route when it comes to that.
Go blue, right?

Matt's family was in town, so we started the weekend off with a visit to Denver's 16th Street Mall and the Cheesecake Factory and went to the new Bond movie later that night.

On Saturday, we got up bright and early for the big game! Even though Matt's injured, it was still his Senior Game so I wore his jersey... and had a heck of a time explaining myself to all of my old BYU friends--athletic directors, football staff, Cosmo...

Matt snuck up to the stands for a quick group picture while the team was warming up:

And then was recognized with the seniors before kickoff.

For those of you who missed it, it was a GREAT game.

The Cougs won, so it was more than a little somber in Air Force territory after the game. Matt was a good sport, though, and still obliged to last-home-game-ever pictures on the field.

I did my best to cheer him up :-)

After the game, there was a senior reception in the press box.

Before we left, Matt took one last look at Falcon Stadium. After being dedicated to Air Force Football for so many years, I can only imagine how that felt. Randy Pausch said in his last lecture, "You know, when you do something long enough and you train for it, it just becomes a part of you." This place, this program, is a part of Matt. It's been a long road with plenty of ups (top of the depth chart) and downs (nagging injuries that eventually ended his playing career) but I don't think we'd trade his experience with Falcon Football for anything. I'm so proud of him for his hard work, perseverance and great attitude through it all. He’s accomplished so much and I can’t wait to see what else we have in store!
Crazy to think that the next time we'll be in Falcon Stadium will be Matt's graduation.

Also crazy that in two days, football season will be over and we'll be getting ready for the bowl games. Both the Falcons and the Cougs have big ones on Saturday (@TCU and Utah, of course)... Go blue!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Falcon Football

After having so much of my life (literally) revolve around BYU football for so long, it's kind of crazy to switch gears and have entire weekends devoted to Air Force football... but that's how it goes these days! I flew in early last weekend so I could watch Matt coach the JV game on Friday...and get pictures of him doing his very favorite coaching activity: blowing the whistle.

It was their most intense game of the season and they won 23-20! (In case you were keeping track, that means Air Force JV went undefeated this year.)

Most of Matt's receivers:

And Matt's fiancee :-)

Saturday was a night (read: FREEZING) game against CSU. The Falcons had an awesome 2nd half and won by 21... which happens to be about as many degrees it was by the end of the game (hence why I'm wearing all of Matt's clothes over mine in the post-game picture, of course).

After the game, I got to dress up like a girl again and go out to dinner with Matt. We always end up going to the same places over and over, so we decided to branch out a little and tried a new (for us) place downtown called the Metropolitan. It's mostly a cocktail lounge with a cool NYC-type atmosphere. We liked it.

We mostly just liked being together after being apart for so long.

Now we're gearing up for the big weekend--BYU @ Air Force this Saturday. Oh boy.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Charlie Knows Best

"Absence makes the heart grow fonder,
but it sure makes the rest of you lonely."
-Charlie Brown

Due to Falcon Football road trips, Matt and I haven't seen each other for nearly 3 weeks--the longest we've gone since he was in Germany for 3 weeks last summer. To be perfectly honest, Charlie nailed it. Long distance relationships are H.A.R.D. Good thing I'm flying out tomorrow! (Bad thing I'm deathly ill at the moment. But whatever.)

On the bright side, I got to take the babies out trick-or-treating last weekend for what might be the last time, and we had a blast! Kaleb was a ninja, Joshie was a ghost (he alternated between that, a pirate, and a "wock" star), and we were just lucky to get Gabe into a skeleton shirt (he woke up that morning very anti-costume).

My mom came up with the awesome idea to have Matthew and his friends be the Blue Man Group. They pulled it off pretty well! Check out those wide-eyed, blue-skinned, expression-less boys.

Christian and I went the athletic route. Sure comes in handy when you have your fiance's jersey lying around! As for Troy Bolton, girls, he's still underage.

Meanwhile, Matt was in West Point, NY, for the Air Force vs. Army football game. (Falcons won!)

Can you believe how BEAUTIFUL their campus is?!

Though, I must admit, I'm pretty partial to this one:

...and can't wait to be there with Matt tomorrow!

PS-For the record books: I believe in voting for qualified leaders who share your core values (i.e. sancitity of the family, human life, smaller government, etc.) and therefore voted for McCain-Palin. Still, I am proud to be an American, grateful we even have the right to vote, and will continue to support our country's leaders.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Viva Las Vegas

Last weekend, Air Force played at UNLV so I drove down to see Matt. (Thanks to Priceline and their $55 Marriott hotel rooms for making that possible.) Although we obviously wish Matt could've stayed healthy this season, there are definite benefits to being a coach instead--one being a later curfew. So we hit up the strip, of course, and watched the fountains at the Bellagio... three times. Mr. Engineer was loving it.

We also spent some time at the Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace... which, as you can see, Matt thoroughly enjoyed.

On Saturday, we hung out in the team's hotel lobby and grabbed lunch here...

... before heading to the game, which the Falcons won 29-28!

All the while, my family was busy going on some ridiculously beautiful hikes with the Grafs. Case in point, Kolob:

I did, however, get to hang out with them in Cedar for a bit on the way home. I have such fun aunts and uncles (and grandparents! Hi grandma!). Pretty sure you can tell my aunt Lisa and I are related.

The Vegas streak continued yesterday when UNLV came up to Provo to get beat 42-35. Matt was down in New Mexico coaching so I got to play Cougar United VP again for the day! Oh, I miss those CU days. I spent the first 3 quarters with my great friend/CU President Josh Reschke on the sidelines before meeting up with my dad and 3-year-old brother Josh. Joshie had been crying at the prospects of only getting to watch BYU football on TV so my dad took him to the game. He had that smile on his face the entire time...

... especially when I brought him onto the field with me so he could watch BYU score a touchdown. Go Cougs!

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