February~ snowboarding, indoor croquet, road-trippin to Arizona (the entire Powell family was reunited after 7 years of at least one boy being on a mission- also I got to meet the whole family!)
March~ Jumping on the Jimmer-mania bandwagon and enjoying some good BYU basketball (we even camped outside the Marriott center for one of their games), the most notable highlight however, didn't have anything to do with Jimmer. Sam and I were engaged in the marvelous month of March !!!
April~ Attending General Conference with the Becksteads, trip to Colorado for Mary's baptism and Easter, stopping at a tiny Stop n Go gas station in Crescent Junction to say goodbye as Sam went to Arizona and I headed back to UT before parting for my summer study abroad in Jerusalem (This was far from being a highlight, but it was kind of a big deal).
May-July~ Elise lived in Jerusalem and met many amazing people (Jews, Palestinians, and BYU students alike), visited many historical and biblical sites, walked the same roads that Jesus walked, swam in the beautiful Sea of Galilee and intensely studied the life of Christ, explored the magnificent rock structures of Petra in Jordan (including the Treasury made famous by Indiana Jones), retraced many of the apostle Paul's steps along the coast of Turkey, purchased numerous souvenirs by mastering the skills of haggling and counting money in shekels, and took advantage of email, instant messaging, skype, and calling cards. :-)
Sam worked 4 jobs (forensic accounting intern, assistant tennis camp coach/court maintenance guy, basketball ref, and deposition transcript editor). Sam served as assistant chef and baker for the Powell household. Sam hung out with his family. Sam worked out a lot so Elise would still think he looked good when she got home from Jerusalem. Sam completed a jigsaw puzzle. Sam played tennis in a rec league and volleyball in a church league. Sam journeyed to San Francisco with his family for a fun vacation. Sam also took advantage of email, gchat, skype, and Elise's calling cards.
August~ Elise came home!!! Going to the temple, attending the wedding of my good friend Jessica Moose (now Jackson) in Manti, putting together final wedding preparations for our own wedding!
September~ Sam and I were married and sealed in the Manti LDS temple for time and for all eternity! What a special day that was for us. We also enjoyed spending a few days in Moab exploring the Arches and the river. We bought some nice bikes and love riding them everywhere! We started up another semester at BYU where Sam started the Master of Accountancy program and Elise changed her major to Coaching/Teaching Physical Education. Elise also celebrated her 21st birthday.
October~ welcoming in baby James Powell (our first nephew), carving jack-o-lanterns, decorating caramel apples with Taylor and Jenny, dressing up as pirates for a Halloween party
November~ Heading south (Arizona) for Thanksgiving and enjoying warm weather, good food, and even better company! Welcoming in baby Carson Beckstead (our 2nd nephew), accepting a calling to teach the 5 year-olds in our ward primary.
December~ finishing up another semester of school, going to Colorado for Christmas break, baking lots of treats, Christmas caroling, hiking to a frozen waterfall and relaxing in the hot springs.
Well there you have it, our first full calendar year together. It was full of fun and adventure and tons of other less interesting stuff that we didn't write about or take pictures of. We're excited for another year to spend together (especially the fact that we'll have the summer together as well this time).
HAPPY NEW YEAR!