we love the bird.
hilary and ben waiting to go down the most amazing run.
more picturesque trees. it snowed SO MUCH...
hilary and i at lunch with our hot yummy chocolate.
on the lift.
see how much snow?

it was a great day snowboarding. i am really feeling it now... my body is so so sore.

the email i wrote to my sister, shayna about 'boarding today describes our experience perfectly...

today we woke up to a lot of snow but ben, hilary and i decided we would still hit up the bird. the roads were fine and then completely clear when we hit the point of the mountain on the way up.
then it snowed the entire day at snowbird. it was cold (not too cold) but the snow was SO NICE. really beautiful powder. the kind that actually looks like powdered sugar, ya know? loved it. but then there was major avalanche control going on so we couldn't leave the canyon until 4:45. the roads were really bad even in the valley... we had to drop something off at hilary's friends house and we stopped for cafe rio but it took us 3.5 hours to get home. booo. it was crazy.
when we were driving through sandy, there were multiple cars, including a postal truck and a uta bus that were all stuck going up a hill (at like 1300 E and 9400 S) people are really dumb thinking they can get their little two wheel drives up those hills in the snow. it was a little freaky, like we were in a movie
and also, just before we left snowbird we thought someone had stolen hilary's board. she said she had just seen it before it had been taken so she ran up the steps to see if she could spot someone who took it. it was some punk kid who "thought it was his board"... yeah right. it didn't look anything like his. people are so strange in freaky weather.


and lovely christmas weekend scenes

don't eat pete
mount timpanogos
my dad's toy train from when he was 3 years old

other scenes, so far:
we've been blanketed in fog the whole time we've been here (morning and night)
my school work stuffed in the corner of the bedroom... staring at me... making me feel guilty...
snowbird lift tickets ready and waiting on the nightstand for some snowboarding goodness
my waistline continually expanding... food, treats, food, treats, food, treats

faces around the christmas weekend

photo taken at large family gathering on christmas eve
ben stuffing the piñata with goodies
cute [nephew] zachary with grandma linda's glasses on
zach in the best snow suit ever
ben and em awaiting christmas dinner
happy people
gorgeous [nieces] annie and janie
cute [nephew] sam with his buzz lightyear legos he put together all himself (!!!)
sister kristen and emily

what can i say? the holiday has been perfect so far.
i love being with family, eating a lot of food (too much food)... there is more food to come...

ben also surprised me big time this year. he is just a really nice guy. so glad i am married to him :)
and well, sometimes the best thing ever is just sitting around with family and eating treats.
mmm treats.


well merry christmas. happy holidays.

front of our christmas postcard this yearthe back of the postcard (with the following text...)

has proved our travel addiction to be simply undeniable.
january, rang in the new year with family in utah.
february, athens, georgia to visit friends.
march, the dominican republic, beach time and to visit the places ben lived when he was 19-21 years old on his lds mission.
april, a weekend trip to nyc, with some emily siblings.
may, ben family gathering at the beach in so. california.
june-august, camped throughout maryland and virginia.
july, philadelphia, utah and the emily family cabin in idaho.
august, weddings in utah and houston (it's hot in august).
september, long weekend in boston, vermont and montréal with some emily siblings.
october, road trip to ann arbor, michigan to visit a ben sibling, niagara falls and a couple other places.
november, weekend in nyc and saint george, utah for thanksgiving.
december, provo, utah for christmas.

emily is the nearing the end of her master's degree at the george washington university in women's studies and anthropology (will need a miracle to finish - in may 2011) and is very grateful for a patient husband and an education.
ben is working at his very cool government job. when not investigating ponzi schemes and investment fraud, ben moonlights as a call of duty player with friends across the country.
and we still love dc. and travel. and each other.
happy, happy holidays.
emily & ben



isn't the snow on the trees perfect in utah?

ben and i are here and i am feeling so happy about it. i do love to visit here. it's the perfect place for snow and holidays. the mountains make me happy. and it's actually a little warmer here than in d.c. --- and there is no snow in d.c.
silly d.c.

ben and i went snowboarding yesterday at park city for free. and even though i think park city resort is poorly designed and it's hard to get back down to the bottom of the mountain,
we had a lot of fun... and now our bodies hurt really badly.


mini christmas & good foods

mmmm ebelskivers
best little breakfast bombs ever.
pumkin cheesecake. also part of bake fest.

the pumpkin cheesecake blew my mind. it was SO GOOD.

shayna came bearing a ebelskiver pan for us denmark lovers so we too could make those little balls of joy for special breakfasts.

and ben and i had our mini christmas. we have one each year before we trek out to utah to be with our families.
i love our new shoes.


a very tall christmas tree [d.c.]

i just really love this one of mr. attractivo = ben.
cold noses with the national christmas tree.
three cold noses.
on saturday, while shayna was still here, we attempted ice skating at the sculpture garden but the line was too long and i was too cold.
we'll go back before winter is over, we have to.

then we walked to the national christmas tree to see the pretty lights and the cute little toy trains.

it's always fun to see the tree all dressed up since it's there all year round but only dressed up around christmas time.

and it's tradition. we've gone every year we've lived here.
see here and here.


bake fest 2010

sister shayna is here. and we are bake-festing it up. really.

we (shayna, me, ben) are all so happy with full bellies.

so far we have made gingerbread cake with caramel sauce and chocolate peppermint patty cookies.
i love where this week is going. hehe.


our engagement story (three years later)

my promise ring (hehe)
just after we got engaged. it was the longest ride down the mountain that i've experienced. the actual ring.december 14, 2007
the day i asked ben to marry me... i proposed with a ring pop.
december 15, 2007
the day ben asked me to marry him. with a proper ring. he got the one i wanted. and i was totally surprised (about the ring and the proposal).

the story: ben and i are snowboarders. so we decided to utilize our season passes to snowbird and snowboard on the unassuming saturday: december 15, 2007. it was a nice break from finals.
so we were boarding like any usual day. i had just gotten stuck in some serious powder so i was tired and mad. ben convinced me we should take a break in the warming hut at the top of the mountain. so we did. as we were on our way back to our boards outside, ben asked if i wanted to take in the view at 11,000 feet elevation. i was still a little mad from getting stuck in the powder, so i grumbled about it but agreed.
ben said, "isn't it a beautiful view?"
and i grumbled... "yes"
then ben asked if he could use my chapstick
(more grumbling)

then when i looked, i looked down to find ben on one knee with a ring out in a little box.
he asked me to marry him.
i started to cry. "YES!" i said
and i fell down on my knees too so we could hug.

i was so surprised. i was sure ben was going to propose at least a couple weeks later.

so i cried and cried and we hugged and kissed and i got to keep the beautiful ring.
i had described to ben what i wanted and he got just that.

he's amazing like that.

next, we immediately went down the mountain to call our families.
we waited to tell our close friends in person without actually telling them (we waited to see how long it took one of them to notice i was wearing a ring).

that night
ben took me to a fancy dinner at the tree room.
best restaurant in utah, i think.
dinner was great. happy. so at ease. because there weren't any jitters. just floating on cloud nine. no one was nervous about proposing to the other person.

ben. you really are the best.
thanks for asking me to marry you.

you're neat.


winter break? joke is on me...

p.s. i just turned in the last of my papers for the semester. it's always a little anti-climatic turning papers in online... but also more convenient.

and remember how i have exactly four weeks until classes start again?
and remember how i don't really get a huge break


my thesis adviser said that when we meet in january, he wants me to have:

1. an outline of my thesis done
2. a schedule of how i am going to write the thesis and get it done
3. and i need to read a book for the thesis that he and i will discuss once school starts again

not to mention prepare my paper for my conference presentation in february...

oh joy.
but i hope to enjoy just a few days of nothing...
happy no-more-finals day.

*photo of me, recharging my glow-in-dark socks back when ben and i were dating.


festival of lights [washington, d.c. lds temple]

this was my favorite nativity. so humble. so quiet. seems very close to what the real thing would be like.
see that nice scarf ben is wearing? well i knit it for him (early christmas present).
these are supposed to be little flowers. cute right?
what is it about christmas lights?

they have nostalgia written all over them.
warm thoughts.
cold noses.
a hint of christmas and hope for snow.

i love lights. even though these don't really rival others i've seen, they were still really beautiful.

and it was nice to have a break from writing papers and just chat it up with ben.
one of those chats where we talk about how cool we are

yeah, we talk about that kind of stuff.