Welcome back to the real world.

WE’RE BACK!

Contrary to my mom’s belief, we finally came back after just a year in China. Back to Utah, snow, school, family, friends, burritos, the whole works. Although I miss China and the life we had there, and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat, it’s amazing how easy it is to assimilate back into something you’ve known all your life.

Christmas was wonderful. Family, snow, a warm fireplace, and a traditional Mexican Christmas Eve Dinner of tamales, pozole, tinga, and horchata was all it took. And being able to Skype to Derik from his mission in Portugal made it perfect. That kid is really a diamond in the rough. He’s the most handsome, sweet, and sophisticated boy I know (besides Kindall). Ladies, he’ll be back in 2015 :).

The two weeks since then were BUSY. Mostly with trying to find a place to live! And all kinds of “adult-like” errands. Our days usually consist of things like going to the bank, meeting with our realtor, visiting the social security department, etc. It’s strange being an adult now. But we sure have gotten a lot done! We have the first day of school under our belts, an adorable 75-year-old house in Provo rented out, and I am officially Erica Palmer.

In addition to Christmas and New Years and all this busy business, Kindall and I got to celebrate another special day, our one year anniversary. December 28th. Here’s to the best year of my life. It absolutely flew by. But there wasn’t a single thing I would have changed about it. The day before, Kindall had two friends getting married in the Salt Lake temple, and we had the opportunity to attend one of their sealings. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate your anniversary than to go back to the place where it began and be reminded of the covenants that I made and the incredible blessings that come with those. And to be reminded that the most important thing in my life is the thing that I love most: my husband. It was really cool to see the happy couple being sealed together, and to think of myself in that position just a year before. And to leave the temple this second time with a year of marriage under our belt and feel even more sure that we made the right decision.

Saturday, Kindall was in charge of the date. We’ve been playing so much this past month, this past year, that we didn’t feel the need to do anything too extravagant. What Kindall came up with was perfect. He took me to Soldier Hollow to do some cross country skiing! Both of our first times. The significance of Soldier Hollow is this (please skip forward if you don’t like sentimental stuff): FIVE years ago, probably around this same time, my group of friends put together a trip to Soldier Hollow to go tubing, and, being high school girls, made sure that we invited a good share of cute boys. I chose Kindall, who I barely knew at the time, and it was there that we really hit it off. So I guess you can count me as the officiator of our relationship. Anyways, neither of us had been back there since! And it was fun to do something with just the two of us, after a whole week of family and friends.

Life is good. I love school. I love our cute old house, and the fact that we can decorate it anyway we want. I love grocery shopping for two. I love the fact that I have to go to the grand opening of Provo’s first Chick-fil-A tomorrow for my reporting class.

Happy happy new year. I hope yours was celebrated just like mine and Kindall’s; with James Bond, a two-man dance party that started at 11:55, and plenty of truffles and Martinelli’s when 12:00 rang out. And all smiles for the year to come.

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