Somehow or another, the movie Elf was released 20 years ago (in 2003). It doesn't seem real that 2003 was twenty years ago, but the calendar keeps telling me it's the year 2024.
Andrew and I first watched Elf together in Vicenza, Italy, in the Eldredge's basement, where we'd stopped by for a few days so we could visit Vince and Verona while on our honeymoon late in 2005. They were so gracious to allow honeymooners into their home! When Dave picked us up at the train station (quite late at night) on Boxing Day (December 26), the moon was a waning crescent but must have been rather bright because I remember some discussion of the song 'That's Amore," where the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie.
I'd always thought the lyrics were big piece o' pie.
I was wrong.
Anyway, we hung out in Vicenza (and watched Elf) and went to Venice (where we walked on a bunch of bridges and ate a lot of gelato) and Verona (where we saw Juliette's balcony and ate a lot of gelato) and had a really great time. We also went to Rome (arriving, if I recall, on transfer day when Andrew had only been home for one transfer (or maybe it was that we got married right around what would have been his next transfer had his mission not ended)). We visited the mission home and I got to meet his mission president. We spent a day in London (and stopped by to visit my friend Andrea Rowbottom!).
And now here we are 18 years later (or so the calendar tells me), still living large.
We went to the temple last night while Reid hung out with the kids (Rachel and Miriam are both old enough to babysit and could totally handle their siblings, but sometimes it's nice to not have to be "in charge"):
This morning I got up early with Phoebe, headed out for a run with Benjamin around 10:00, and when we got home, we got ready to finish deconstructing the clubhouse. We cut it off the post anchors because digging them up while everything was connected wasn't going to happen (and still might not happen). Then we thought we could just carry it palanquin-style over to house, with Andrew and Grandpa on a leg each, me on a leg, and Rachel and Miriam sharing another leg.
But it turns out that we are not as strong as we thought, so I texted some neighbours and two of them were able to come over right then. With two extra men, we were able to carry it palanquin-style...to the fence...and over the fence...and then...we ended up disassembling it further, removing the supports from the platform. Our neighbours had a lovely tool that zipped the lug bolts out easily. And then we were able to get the thing into our yard.
So now our yard is full of bits and pieces of a clubhouse.
We'd planned to take family pictures today as well (ambitious, I know) but decided against it because Rachel is working on a cake for a neighbour's birthday and Miriam needed to babysit a family up the street. So instead Miriam and I wrapped presents until our fingers were numb, and then Miriam left to babysit and the rest of us ordered a pizza and watched Elf as a family.
Andrew and I both fell asleep.
Once we had the kids in bed we grabbed some milkshakes and settled on the couch to watch an episode of Doctor Who (we haven't watched an episode since...December 2020..."when things got busy," Andrew laughed). It was nice to relax together a bit. Happy 18 years to us!