Saturday, November 3, 2012

the true meaning of halloween

Watch this.

We take Halloween seriously over here at the C&H house. Okay, okay. We don’t spend our time frightening away demons, but we do love to dress up and eat treats!
Handmade couple/family costumes are my favorite. I was so excited to have our first chance at it last year when we dressed up with therhouse as one big Star Wars family.

Pictures from last year taken by Lindsey:

(Leia, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Darth Maul, R2D2, and Chewbacca)

This year we dressed up as our favorite New Zealanders, Bret and Jemaine, from Flight of the Conchords. (If you haven’t heard of them, they are hilarious comedians/musicians/actors and you need to stalk them on YouTube.)
Besides our obsession with quoting Flight of the Conchords 24/7, we decided to dress up as them a) because Chris has the Jemaine voice, lips, and chin b) because I am significantly smaller than him. Also, the only thing we had to buy was black hair spray.
 conditions were perfect
(name that fotc video)

It wasn’t the most elaborate of costumes, but it sure was fun. We won the Best Costume award at a friend’s Halloween party even though only half of the guests knew who we were. It was all in the performance. Time to start brainstorming for next year ;)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

just call me “yoyo"

If the drastic drop in blog posts didn’t make it obvious enough--we’re back in Utah. Back to school full time, work part time, blog no time. But it’s my last semester of classes until I do student teaching in the Winter and then I am DONE.

Praise the Lord.

So, since I graduate soon, I have been emailing Professors/BYU Advisors/Student Teaching Professionals/Future Employers like craaazy. On top of all of this I have had to use Chris’s and Heidi’s (my sister who is living with us right now) computers for everything because mine broke down the week before school started. (Another huge reason why there has been no blog time.)

A couple weeks into school I receive a text from my SIL saying she can’t find my email in her gmail system. This was weird because we email all the time, but I gave her my email anyway. And then I received this text:

It turns out that at the beginning of the semester Chris was testing to see if he could change things on his profile, but since I was logged on in his computer he change my name to yoyo redfern.

And I didn’t notice for at least a few weeks.

What in the world? So this is the gmail name that my Boss/Professors/Student-Teaching-Application-People have been receiving mail from. SO EMBARRASSING. But hysterical at the same time, right? Just shoot me.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Hanna and her sisters

Last month I wrote about my three beautiful sisters (the three on the right in the photo above) that I grew up with, but today I want to talk about all of my "new" sisters. I hesitate to say new because I had relationships with most of them way before Chris and I decided to tie the knot. In high school the Redferns were the cool, loud family in my ward (church congregation). Chris is the fifth child inbetween the only girls in his family: Brianna and Haylea. His older brothers Steven, Brandon, and Josh were pretty much out of the house by the time my family moved to Northern California. So, I have gotten to know Haylea and Bree pretty well over the years.

The Redferns
top to bottom, left to right: Josh, Brandon, Steven, Bree, Toni, Chris, Me, Poncho, Haylea 
I met Bree when she was a senior in high school and I was a freshman. Obviously, she has gone through a lot of changes since then, but here are some of the key things about Bree that have always remained constant. She's gorgeous, fun, outgoing, crazy (a good crazy), super loud and she stands up for what she believes in. She is amazing and inspiring! There is a reason why this girl knows EVERYBODY. Not only is she a great networker, but she is so easy to love!

Haylea was only 12 when we first met, so I have been able to see her grow up not only phsyically, but mentally and spiritually as well. Over the years we have become super close friends and I am so glad I can finally call her my sister. Haylea is one of the most thoughtful and genuine people I have ever met. She is so sweet to everyone that she meets and is always looking for some way to serve others. She is great at making people feel welcomed and loved. Plus she is beautiful!

Chris and I have been so lucky to grow up with such amazing sisters. But in addition to that, Chris's brothers have married some pretty incredible women as well.

The SIL's

Lindsey, Me, Whitney, Brooke
Lindsey is the only sister-in-law who was in the family when Chris and I started dating. I vaguely remember she and Josh visiting my seminary class to tell us about their story and about eternal marriage (Chris's mom was my seminary teacher back in the day). I thought they were SO cool. I still do. Lindsey is the older sister that I never had. And to be honest, Chris and I would probably never see Josh if he hadn't married her. She is always inviting us over and making sure that we are fed and loved. What I love most about Lindsey is her creativity, passion, and desire to make time for everything and everyone. She was my biggest cheerleader while Chris was away serving his mission in Mexico and she continues to cheer us on even after we have been married a year. Love me some Linds!

Brooke and Steven got together a little before Chris's mission (4 years ago) so I got to meet her before he left and got to know her a little more while he was in Mexico. She is super adorable, creative, and so so talented. My absolute favorite thing about Brooke is her ability to notice things about you and compliment them. I have noticed this countless times, probably everytime I see her. She is so good at making people feel good about themselves and she does it with such sincerity. I wish I was more like that. I also wish we lived closer to them, she is so fun to hang out with!

Brandon and Whitney got married while Chris was on his mission. Other than at the wedding and a few holidays here and there, I didn't fully get to know her until this summer when we lived with them. Whitney is one of the most loving and patient people I have ever met. She is so easy going and it's probably impossible NOT to like her. Usually when you live with people for longer than a week you start to notice little things about them that bug you (maybe that's just me...I'm a horrible person) but I couldn't tell you one bad thing about this girl. That's a great quality to have if you ask me! I will miss her so much!

Mah Sistas
I have so many amazing sisters in my life. Not to mention the close friends who might as well be sisters. I am one lucky girl.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

one year

As of Sunday, 08-05-12, we have been married for a year. Marriage has been quite the adventure and we love it. We have known each other (and each other's families) since we were in high school so there weren't too many surprises, but it has been nice to finally live and officially start our life together.

Since our anniversary was on a Sunday we wore our wedding colors to church. (Something about the combination of mustard, navy, and deep red makes me swoon.) They also happened to be the clothes we left our reception in.

Leaving the reception was one of those surreal moments where I felt like we were in a movie. I changed out of my wedding dress in the house and then headed down toward the yard under the romantic stars and strings of lights. While Chris and I filled little bags full of treats from the candy and dessert bars, most of our closest friends and family lined up to create a path toward the car. Billie Holiday's I'll Be Seeing You (one of my faves) started playing on the speakers as we crossed the lit bridge from the lawn where the reception was held to the pathway full of people holding sparklers.
We started walking and ended running through all of the sparklers and then drove away in our neighbor's 1940's model car listening to more old romantic jazz music. (He escorted us to our car which was parked just around the corner.) It was a perfect ending to a perfect day!
Besides dressing up, we didn't do too much else to celebrate. Originally we were going to go to New York, but we obviously did that a little early instead (read about it here). So, we kept it pretty simple. After dinner with the family we went outside to sit on the dock by the lake in the backyard. We talked about the year we have had together and the goals and predictions we have for our second year together. On Monday we headed to Williamsburg and celebrated over a nice steak dinner. Doesn't get much better than that. I am so happy to be married to my sweetheart and look forward to the many, many years we will share in the future.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

BABES take two

In June Chris and I watched our twin nephews for a week by ourselves while Brandon & Whitney were away. This week was round two. Only it wasn't a whole week, and we weren't totally by ourselves. We learned a lot of things after watching them for a week and being here all summer, so it was a little easier this time around! Plus they are getting older (almost 10 months!) and their eyes are better than they used to be (see Whitney's post about their surgeries here).
Christian & Connor
Chris's other brother Steven just moved out to the East coast and his cute little family has been staying with us at Brandon's place temporarily. Brooke & Steven have adorable little kiddos. Gage is almost three and has non-stop energy. He also thinks he's Harry Potter. Kjel is 10 weeks old and is just the sweetest little angel.
Connor, Gage, Kjel, Christian
This time with the twins we were a little more confident and we ventured out of the house a few times to visit people in Williamsburg. We had so much fun, they are such sweethearts!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Youth Conference

Youth Conference is something that our Church does once a year with all the youth ages 14-18 in the area. Chris and I used to go together back when we were in high school and this time we were able to go back as group leaders. It usually lasts about three days and is filled with fun activities, dances, food and spiritual messages. It was fun to get to know the youth and be the "cool" leaders there (most of the others were in there 40s or 50s).
race boats made from cardboard and duct tape
tomb of the unknown soldier
DC temple
Friday night we all got on our buses at midnight and prepared for the three hour drive home. Ten minutes later our bus broke down in the middle of highway traffic. After three different buses and a lot of tired teenagers, we finally made it home around 5:30 am. It was exhausting, but totally worth it!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Ay, I'm walkin' here

Remember when I talked about our week with the twins here? Well, because of that we got to stay in New York City at the Hyatt Regency hotel free for three nights. Brandon used his State Farm points to book us a trip. I don't know about you, but I think we got the better end of the deal. And not only that, they also bought us tickets to see Newsies on Broadway because we will be watching the boys again in August. Spoiled. I would watch those boys for free! Thanks to instagram and Fuzel I was able to document our trip.
"these streets will make you feel brand new"
We took a bus to New York City early Thursday morning and got there around 1:30 in the afternoon. There is nothing like stepping off of that bus into the busy city life. It was almost like stepping into a movie, only a lot bigger and louder. All of a sudden you are in the middle of New York, surrounded by endless tall buildings and crowds.

food, glorious food
I probably gained 13.7 pounds on this trip. We ate so much food. And there are food pictures (forgive me) to prove it. So many people gave us recommendations, we had to try everything we possibly could! Shake Shack burgers, fried chicken and skin-smashies, frozen hot chocolate, New York pizza, desserts up the ying yang... We ate it all. In the words of a stoned man in Union Square: "That's a whole lot of effin' chicken."
Our good friends Thomas and Kendall Hutchison live in Connecticut and were able to join us for some city fun Friday and Saturday. Sleepover at the hotel? Duh. We had so many fun adventures and loaded up on good stories and inside jokes that are roll-on-the-floor-hysterical until you try to explain them to someone else. We walked all over Manhattan, rode through Central Park, hit up the Subway stations, and browsed through every free building we could find. Naturally, we stopped at Nintendo World, it wouldn't have been a true trip with Chris and Thomas if we hadn't. (Thomas and Chris became best buds freshman year of college, mostly through basketball and video games. Chris: Thomas and I are the same person, except I am way cooler.) I'm so happy that the Hutchisons decided to join us on this trip, it just wouldn't have been the same without them. But we did miss our other third: Jason and Alex Sandvik. Looking forward to our reunion in the Fall!
"there's nothing you can't do"
There were so many places to go, things to do, sights to see. We shopped, saw Newsies on Broadway, visited memorials and museums, walked in the rain, saw the midnight showing of the Dark Knight Rises in Gotham City, and acted like annoying tourists pretending to be locals.

Monday, July 16, 2012

redneck reunion

There are a lot of pictures in this post. If you have no interest in bennion reunions i would stop now. (But there are some real cuties captured below if you decide to scroll on.)

Chris and I knew that there was going to be a family reunion all year, but it wasn't until two days before that we knew we were going. We had always wanted to go, we just couldn't afford to fly out there when we were already flying to Virginia and back for the summer. All of a sudden out of nowhere my parents decide they wanted us there and were willing to pay for our flights. Whaaa? Awesome. I hadn't been to an official t-shirt reunion in 8 years. I was stoked. My Dad's family is very large, so family reunions are more like ward activities (ward is a mormon term for congregation) the exception being that there is a limited gene pool. And if you know anything about Bennion family is a very limited gene pool.
We flew into the airport just after my parents did. My brothers had no idea we were coming, so it was a pleasant surprise to see how excited they were to see us. We weren't in the city for long, we headed three hours south to the middle of nowhere. (Whitney, if you are reading this, we wish we could have stopped to see you in Kansas City!)
Kansas City
headed to the reunion
we rode in style
We were told that there was going to be a lake day. When we mentioned this to one of our local cousins he laughed and said, 'that's like being told you get to have an ice cream sundae and then being given a jawbreaker.' It turns out that we were really going to a creek to look for crawdads. It actually was a lot of fun. There was a little river right by it that Chris and I took a canoe in for a bit. (We also tipped over Owen and Joe's canoe -- sorry about that.)
'lake day'

ever wondered where you can find Lucky Charms with only
marshmallows? Stark City, Missouri
We had 'Redneck Olympics.' I don't have any pictures of the teenagers because Chris and I were playing along with them. But I was able to snap these treasures of the kiddos during their last activity (putting cheese puffs on their heads with shaving cream).
james, toshi, lily & gwenny, shin
renata and hunter attack
haydn and jeddie were having fun with the cheese puffs
ain't a redneck reunion w/o someone passed out on the
For one of the games the kids swung sling shots at pictures of the three bennion uncles that were at the reunion: howard, sam, and johnny. Below is a picture of their sons, proud of the holes that they made. (I wanted to get a photo of Shin in front of Sam's picture, but I couldn't find him!)
james and haydn
When Bennions get together you know that there will be a lot of kids. I don't know an exact count, but it had to be close to 50. (Can you imagine if every family was there??) Naturally, I didn't get shots of every baby, but I did get some of these three cuties. Aren't they luscious?

gavin, isla, and houston
porter (5) vs hunter (10) -- hunter couldn't get down
Lots and lots of games were played. Card games, soccer games, olympic games, life-size jenga...
Grandma and the aunties even played a little werewolf/mafia with the tweens (see bottom left picture)
we snuck owen and george away after the reunion
to go swimming at the city pool
One of the benefits of staying an extra day was all of the treats that Aunt Lucy made: fried green tomatoes, homemade peach pies, and homemade ice cream. We were in heaven.
aunt lucy's fried green tomatoes
uncle johnny taught the young ones how to shoot a gun
hunter was a natural
By the time we were headed back to the airport we were worn out.  Especially Haydn, who had been running around catching bugs and makin mud holes all day. He arrived as hyper as can be and left snoring like an old man.
haydn: arrival & departure
I'm really glad I got to see so much family and that Chris got to meet them. I'm sad that a lot of the older cousins couldn't make it, but it was great to catch up with the ones that did. It was nice to see my sweet Grandma Lenore and all of my Dad's sisters: Kathie, Annie, Jeannie, Mary, Eileen, Lillian, and Lucy. It had been awhile. It's always fun to see his goofy brothers: Sam and Johnny, but we sure missed Joe and Glynn! (I told you it was a big family.)

Until next time,
The (not so) Redneck Redferns


The great thing about living on the East Coast is that we are so close to so much history. We live half an hour away from Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown, and just a few hours from Washington DC.
Last year we visited DC with my parents and a few friends. We did a segway tour and everything.
This time we didn't have other peoples shedules to adhere to or the pressure to go to as many places as physically possible. We just took our time and went to some of our favorite monuments and memorials.  We had a lot of time to just sit and enjoy the city around us.
white house
segways...the guy on the left biffed it right before this
We spent a lot of time on the grass next to the Washington Monument. The weather was perfect and the company was alright, too. ;)

chris finally smiles

sitting at Abe's feet

Martin Luther King Jr.
sunset at the Jefferson Memorial

We stayed late and just walked around under the street lights. The city was gorgeous--definitely worth the trip.