december 2017

the holiday season is such a blur, this year was no different. i mean, maybe it was a bit blurred because i went back to night shift halfway thorough the month…?

bi-annual haircut happened this month. haha thank you, lex. and! i got to hang out with the world’s current cutest baby with the best cheeks. hanukah this year was celebrated in style in the kimball household. lox and eggs on homemade latkes. good enough to turn you jewish! this next photo was the christmas tree at work. the place was decked out, and one of my coworkers even made a rubber glove tree. that there is dedication. tyler’s family came to visit for a weekend and brought a new chair for my niece. as soon as she opened it up, the first thing she did was pose on it. HA! and, of course this year we got our tree from harmons… because they are the cutest ones, and just barely too tall, which i find endearing. we promptly strung popcorn and it was the cutest tree, imo.

also, here’s a picture of a biscuit i ate and my biscuit date. the restaurant smelled so heavily of bacon that after we left, MY HAIR SMELLED LIKE BACON. vegetarian nightmare. also, i opened all my christmas gifts early from my parents. because that is what you do as an impulsive adult. here i am, smugly modeling my new hat and sweater to send to my mom. she was not impressed 🙂 AND this weird awkward foot photo is one of my favorites because it signifies that both tyler and i were home at the same time during the EVENING and those events are far and few between these days, thanks to very opposite schedules. sigh.

this year we spent christmas in santa barbara. my first california christmas! it was so nice to have no snow or cold. and sun! and beaches! december ravaged southern california with the thomas fire right up until christmas. in fact, tyler’s family was under mandatory evacuation until a few short days before we arrived. of course, they all acted like it was nothing? just a little ash on the cars and “THANK YOU FIREFIGHTERS!” signs everywhere. if it was me, i would have been a nervous wreck. guess that’s the california lifestyle? haha

christmas was great. have you seen that meme that is like, “december 1-26 you’re full of christmas spirit. december 27-january1 you’re full of cheese. thereafter you’re just fat”. we LIVED that meme. and we ate so much cheese. tyler and i put together a pretty great charcuterie on christmas, it was awesome. new traditions! i even got new cheese knives from my inlaws.

most of our time was spent hanging out together. here we have some mistletoe hanging, christmas morning action shots, tyler and his new tools (seriously spoiled by milwaukee santa), and my favorite shot of my child husband. isn’t he objectively the cutest?? also, this last photo is my sister in law and my father in law… the photo is of my father in law as a young man and his dad. so, ya know. four generations and the SAME JACKET!  i guess this just proves you should never throw away ANY clothing?

and then i made us go outside. christmas walk! and the beach at montecito. this is the area that was completely ravaged by the mud slides last week. it is the most beautiful area, we are so sad. 😦

and that’s it, folks. all of 2017 has been accounted for. thanks for reading and sorry for the foot photos.

snow sport 2014

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in dc, there is zero- .02 inches of snow. however, idaho has it on LOCK and catered in the white stuff, so obviously i had to take advantage of it in my two weeks in the west. skiing ensued!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

payton is a really good snowboarder. i am a mediocre skiier that doesn’t like going fast and would be perfectly happy riding the lift and taking the cat-tracks down the mountain all day. also, it must be sunny. good snacks are a plus.

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on my last weekend in idaho, i kinda sorta cajoled my parents into taking the family to tamarack for the day to cross country ski. it was an adventure…. isnt’ that what you’re supposed to call it when a lot of things go wrong but it was a hilarous experience that will be relived and recounted for years to come? yes? yes. we waited in life for about an hour and a half only to be met with eyes of oblivion when we told the rental shop we were, indeed, there to nordic ski, probably making us the first people to ever cross country ski over the golf course, ever. we were probably also the worst. dad fell right in the parking lot. payton plowed through like a natural. kourtni only peed a little. all i know, is that for a group of fairly athletic, well adjusted, individuals, it was probably the most uncoordinated day in the history of our collective existence.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with b5 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with b1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with b1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with m5 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

then when we finished our 1.5 hours on the frozen tunda, we found we were actually charged way too much, then my mom was hardcore flirted with by the creepy rental guy. we shook if off with burgers and fries and shakes at my father’s place in mccall.

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don’t forget the forced extra together time we got when we hit a blizzard in the mountains above boise getting home! yeah! i love you, family. i don’t love you, xc skiing. you’re just like regular skiing without the fun part.

christmas break

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so i went to idaho for two weeks

(i will never complain about the dc cold again.)

being home was so good, there was so much food in the fridge… like too much. like, “oh, alyssa, what did you get for christmas? i got at least 5-7 lbs heavier thanks for asking!”- too much food. like, “i ate a twice baked potato at 3 am because it was there and i couldn’t leave it alone”- too much food. like, “there is a full can of spray whipped cream in the fridge and its siren song is calling your name”- too much food. do i regret it? NOPE. because guess what i came back to in washington, dc? a pantry full of popcorn kernels, dried dates and instant oatmeal packets. diet-by-default instated.                            Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

seeing my family was awesome. eight months is a long time! my brother was taller and actually maybe wanted to hang out with me, even though he would probably never admit it. i just guessed, based on the way he gave me a few grace minutes when i hugged him instead of pulling away instantly. thanks, patey! you’re the real hero here!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetIMG_0005Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

my sisters are still tall and beautiful. they’re cool and so funny. we had such good times eating (see above) and shopping and laying on the couch, which actually was my only goal of the break. to lay. (goal accomplished)Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

my parents are good too. they made it a point to cater to my needs, from the uppity sparkling water to driving me all the way to mccall for a the day through a blizzard because i wanted to cross country ski. you have all the points in my book! i owe you a lot, mom and dad! thanks for putting up with your jerk daughter who only comes to visit when you buy the plane ticket 😉 i don’t deserve you.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

also, boise is good. the best part about a hometown is the familiarity.  it is so incredibly satisfying to walk the dog and know that he is going to pick up a stick for you to throw in a certain place, so gratifying (albeit a tad bit jarring when you see them in stores with no forewarning everywhere in town) to have people there who know you and want to hear about life, and comforting just to be around, especially in the winter with snow on christmas and a car you can drive in instead of having to traipse aimlessly and bundle like old man michelin. (although i’m super good at it)Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

oh yeah, christmas, too. it was great- all the traditions were checked off, from the pizza on christmas eve, driving around to see the lights, gingerbread houses (or monuments.. dc has changed me.), movies, and all the epic christmas gifts in the morning… which obviously included a lot of clothes suitable for lounging, as that is what the balls do best (the giving lounge clothes and lounging, too. hi-ya!) we saw movies and ate food, invited the missionary sisters for dinner, and made fun of all of your christmas traditions on instagram. (sorry, we respect you, but your matching pj’s need to go).Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetIMG_0009Processed with VSCOcam with b1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

anyway, i’ve got a mil photos that need their own time in the sun, so here’s to the first of a few posts. merry christmas. happy holidays.


break was a whirlwind. i hardly got out my camera… good thing my phone is just another appendage.


seeing this sign in BOI was a huge sigh of relief


seeing poor kourtni in the hospital…. not so much.


obviously payton had a good time hanging out in the room. hey, at least he got to eat chik-fil-a three times in one week!


i thoroughly enjoyed wearing all of kourtni’s clothes while she was gone… also, lindsay’s shirt is actually kourtni’s, and i wore it in spain, so…. well, sisterhood of the traveling shirt, i guess.


the people felt bad for us, so we got toyz.


payton got pretty sick of me taking a trillion pics, that is for sure.


i was sent to the grocery store to buy, then cook, a christmas ham. i had no idea what i was doing. image

this is just one of the many times i requested going out for mexican food. i think we hit all of my favorite spots! (minus pollo rey…. we’re coming for ya!)


we skipped out on church and ate brunch at hailey’s consisting of leftover vegetable platters, diet coke, cold pizza, trail mix, cookies, and twice baked potatoes. if that isn’t the epitome of holiday binging, well, i don’t know what is. not mad.


it snowed! i had forgotten what that was like.


rondo and i became good pals


also, the river is pretty regardless of season.


diana is the most responsible pet owner i know.


i spent much of break waking up between 5:30 to 7:30 AM thanks to some serious jet lag issues.

i did a lot of insomniatic baking. most of it didn’t turn out too well…

i promise the cookies tasted decent.


after a lot of sad, overcooked vegetables, all i wanted to eat at home was kale and sweet potatoes.

and cinnamon chex. i did just that.


this is a prime example of why i miss my sisters when i am in utah.


also, HAPPY NEW YEAR. on nye i went out with some great friends/ danced around with drunk people from high school.

imagelet us just say it was a memorable nye.


also, kourtni and i spent lots of time sitting on the couch in recovery mode.

here we are taking one of those “sleeping pictures”.

… i mean, we were totally asleep and someone took this of us.
imageeven though it was a little bit of an unconventional christmas, break was great.

it was so refreshing to see family, friends, and be an american speaking english.

and wearing sweats to the grocery store. three cheers for that!

an… unconventional christmas.

my family has some christmas eve traditions, most often including pizza and driving around our town looking at lights. most years our night travels around the city lead us right past the hospital in downtown boise. each year as we pass by, i look up at all the glowing lights in sporadic rooms, and feel a twinge of sadness for all the patients that had the rotten luck of landing themselves in the hospital over the holidays… until this year, because this christmas, my family was a bunch of those unfortunate souls.


you see, my younger sister had her appendix rupture three or four weeks ago, and to make a long story short, some serious complications and a handful of bad doctor advice later were shaken up to form the perfect storm which ended up putting her back in the hospital for emergency surgery and a week of recovery a few days shy of christmas eve. it was rotten luck, let me tell you what!


since kourtni was in the hospital (purgatory)for an interminable amount of time, christmas was…. well, a little different. the night before we kept with our dining tradtions, but the mood was a little somber. also, kourtni is going to hate me for these pictures. (sorrrrrry) but she was the best sport for letting me be annoying and memory-maker-like.


christmas day was basically just another ol’ day. we spent the day at the hospital, watching my sister drift in and out of consciousness and take painkillers. i passed the time doing puzzles and playing spectator via instagram and twitter field as friends and family unveiled their shiny new toys, impeccable meal spreads, and memories dripping with togetherness. as for us, well, i think the day can basically be summed up by the fact that i ate cold pizza for both breakfast and dinner and we woke up to a sad looking christmas tree with broken lights. ha!


kourtni spent the next week recovering, so as you can see, this was not a christmas we’ll be quick to forget! however, i think i can speak for the whole family when we say this year definitely taught us a thing or two about the importance of family, genuine charity, and health.


alegria navideña

one of my favorite things about this town is its walkability. i live in central downtown where streets are one lane, one way, and completely impassible for half of the the american cars you see in the walmart parking lot. i mean, i guess when you start building a city in the 1500s it is kind of difficult to foresee these things… catholic priest students, you’re forgiven 😉

anyway, this week my neighborhood was transformed into a sort of christmasy haven… i mean, the place is DECKED OUT for the holidays. since i live about fifteen steps from the christmas cheer, i spent many nights this week walking around the streets. i mean, with this laughably warm weather we’ve got going for us in december, it would be a sin not to get out and enjoy a little christmas cheer. DSC_0234 Recently Updated12christmas looks good on the plaza de cervantes, no?

DSC_0244DSC_0255DSC_0256and all these pretty lights above the streets are great until you hear a news report of the weight of one not only coming unhinged from a balcony and pulling the railing off with it, but in turn causing the death of an elderly man who walked out onto his nonexistent balcony to wave goodbye to his son and fell to his death. and that, my friends, is the spanish news for you.

DSC_0261this picture stinks but i love it: two guys window shopping a jewelry store window. i have a feeling the same thoughts are running through their heads.

Recently Updated11the blurry trombone shows just how hard he was going. man, he was IN IT.

DSC_0265 DSC_0281 Recently Updated10DSC_0284 DSC_0290 DSC_0294all the lights, the music, the christmas markets, and the bargain shopping have really been bringing a lot of people out… but then again, spaniards don’t really get too phased by crowds. in fact, i think they kind of live for them, especially during this weekend of “puente”, or spain’s version of a four day weekend. leaving downtown madrid this afternoon was absolutely ridiculous! imagine all the streets, sidewalks, restaurants, and shops full of people body to body and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what sol looked like. i was worried someone was going to get trampled or lose a child. i think they were just worried about spilling their beers.

and that, folks, is the spanish life. feliz navidad

let’s take a break

from vacation talk so we can get to this great picture below.

what is today, like DECEMBER FOURTH? this is us in front of the christmas tree in madrid- and it is still not lit. and that is just not acceptable, especially from my american standpoint where christmas begins november 23 or before.

yesterday we went to madrid thinking it would be cool to check out all the lights and well, this is what we were greeted with. a completely dark city. we took pictures anyway, but in the words of pelayo, “it looks like we’re in jail!”

DSC_0225unacceptable, madrid. unacceptable.

(evidently pilar told me today that they’ll be on on thursday. thank heavens)