Christmas Card 2015

Illustration by Esther Sanford

Photo by Mirielle Sanford
Season’s Greetings! I hope you are all having a wonderful season with your friends and family.

It’s been a busy but fantastic year for me. In the spring I was promoted to be the business manager of our small but growing catering company and while it has been time consuming it has also been fulfilling.

It took a year but my church finally caught on to the fact I was a caterer and released me from my four-year-long calling as executive secretary and put me in charge of feeding the congregation twice a month to encourage socializing, i.e. dating. I’ve been at it for a few months now and it’s been a lot of fun crafting meals to fit the very limited budget given to me.

In September, I finally summited Mt. Timpanogos after saying I wanted to do it for the past several years. It took us nine hours round trip to make the mile climb in elevation but now I can say I’ve done it.

On the local front, for a short time this year we had chickens! After getting permission from our Landlords, my sister and I along with two neighbors purchased six baby chickens and proceeded to raise them into adulthood. Unfortunately we discovered we missed some important rules regarding chickens in Provo and had to give them away but two live with my parents now so they are never too far away.

I hope this post finds you well and that I hear from all of you in some way or another even if just on social media.

Merry Christmas.


It's a holiday season.

Two holidays have past and another one is rapidly coming! I sent my Christmas card to the printers today so I finally decided it's time to update this here blog before my card goes public next week.

First off, Halloween!
This is our second Halloween in the Knight-Allen house and this year I pushed our spookiness a little further with additional green lights. Allison was out of town and I didn't want to be stuck at home all night so I decided not to hand out candy. This was highly disappointing to a couple groups of kids that I knew that were looking forward to soda which I handed out last year.

Thanksgiving I was alone.

Well not totally alone but all my family went elsewhere and invited me but for various reasons I found myself in Provo for Thanksgiving Day. This gave me the opportunity to take up my friends', the Sanfords, yearly offer of joining them for dinner. I offered to make the turkey and it turned out almost perfect... if you like turkey that is.
our thanksgiving group
The next day I decided to do a little Black Friday shopping and purchased my very first suit!
I mean I've owned two other suits but they were either a gift or a thrift-store find so this is my first legit fitted one. It was a coming of age event and I feel the same.

Also I got a new chair.
$25 at a thrift store, yay!
And my Christmas lights are up! I didn't have a giant free tree this year so I decided not to put on on the balcony again.



Its up, my new domain is up! You may have noticed that when visiting this site the domain now points to www.otti.ng instead of the usual chrisotting.blogspot.com. The domain is up and functioning for my blog as well as a new email address--which I won't type here because of lame bots. It's just chris or christian though.

People told me it was a waste of money but I smile every time I have the opportunity to tell people my email.

Now I need to fill the rest of this post with other things to make it worth looking at.
This is a recent shot of my bedroom not completely clean. You can't see my map of Africa or my portrait which is a shame.
A couple of my friends and I tried to get into conference but were unsuccessful. Still got to hang out in the tabernacle though.
Some of my other friends threw a tiny food birthday party for their daughter. Here is a tiny pork sandwich, a tiny baked potato, tiny cucumbers, tiny cantaloupe, and a tiny cup of juice.


Summiting Timpanogos

I finally summited Timp! I've wanted to do this hike for the past several years but I would only ever think of it during the Winter which is a bad time to hike mountains; luckily my friend Tallia orchestrated everything as part of her birthday so it finally happened.
"Mount Timpanogos, UT" by Brian Smith - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons
I guess this is a pretty popular hike in Utah, one of my friends summited it three times this summer, so we had to show up early. We arrived in the parking lot at 6 AM to be greeted by a completely full parking lot. We didn't want to give up but also didn't know what to do since there were no-parkng signs everywhere. Eventually we decided to park illegally figuring the parking ticket, divided by all of us, would be worth the hike.

It was dark when we started which made for lovely light. I only took one photo which turned out really grainy. I teased my companions for taking panoramas but I probably should have took at least one.
me, abby, natalie, tallia, ben
The hike was grueling, especially since it is the only hike I did all summer but we pushed on amongst Tallia's panic attacks each time someone slipped a little. We reached the saddle and almost turned around but Ben gave a rousing speech on how we were the rising generation and destined for greatness so we pushed on.
The wind howled in our ears as we forced our legs and feet to carry on through the loosely defined trail among the rubble. All of us rolled our ankles more than a few time but we persevered and made it to the top at 11:15am, a little under five hours from the start.
sitting at the summit shack
We all ate our various lunches and used our cell phones since we happily had full service and then started back down. We made it back to the car at 3:30pm and didn't have a parking ticket. 
We celebrated by eating at the Cannon Center on BYU campus.
just a bro on a mountain. so many people on the trail commented on the hat. IT WAS FREE



Hey ya'll! I forgot about this blog and then when I remembered I decided to push off updating until I had my new domain up and running (www.otti.ng). BUT ITS THE WORST THING AND I HATE IT.


I'm sure a lot has been going on in the land of Christian--I just did the dishes and cleared out the fridge for example. It's hard to summerise my entire spring and summer, especially since my journal joined the silence, but I can attempt to make up narratives with some pictures on my phone.

We got chickens! They were the cutest thing but then the police made us get rid of them. It was a whole ordeal which you can read in detail on my sister's blog here. Of the six: two live with my mother, another two with our co-owner's parents, one ran away, and the other turned out to be a rooster and had to leave down.

They were so great though, they deserve another photo.
A boy and his [friend's] chicken.
Then my land lady died which was really sad. She was a terrific woman and had the energy of a 65 year old even though she was 91. Read her obituary here. Following her death I offered to buy the house from them to continue living in it but the deal ultimately went nowhere and its now run by a property management group---lameeeooo.

To help cope with her death--or maybe just because I thought it would be fun--I went up to my Grandma's cabin with some friends. It was only for a long weekend but we had a lot of fun. Most of the photos are on my friends' blogs linked above.
Lifestyle shot by Mirielle

THEN THE FAMILY REUNION. Every few years my mother's side gets together somewhere for a week-long retreat. In the past we have typically gone up to a lake in Minnesota but the distance has become too great for many so this year we relocated to a ranch up past Vernal.
Lots of us, too many to name. Sorry to my descendants doing family history.
Like all fun things though, its only fun until someone gets hurt so my brother Seth decided to ruin the fun by falling 25' off a rock wall and breaking his back--ugh. It definitely made the trip memorable, especially watching him fly off in a helicopter, but next time we'll skip the attention hogging. My grandma was pissed since she was barely able to move and had to spend most of the time in the hospital but everyone was paying attention to Seth instead.

To my descendents--this is all tounge-in-cheek and both my Grandmother and Seth made a full recovery--Seth's surgeries were crazy but they worked great!

Fourth of July happened too but somehow I didn't get any photos of it? This is not completely atypical though since I am usually having too much fun to bother taking my phone out. Here is a photo Mirielle took of me at the Ballon Festival on the 3rd though.
yay for having photographer friends
Here are some other photos.
Our (mostly) annual trip to 7-11 on 7-11 continued with June and Esther Sanford. We didn't get to go see Ringo Starr afterwards though which made it not quite as amazing as 2012.
I won TWO nests in TWO SEPARATE CONTESTS by the SAME COMPANY--Provo Power. I don't think they are going to give anymore away though since I won the second one by default as no one else entered.
Visited a few Mormon heritage spots in Salt Lake with some friends. Pictured here is on the "train" at This is the Place Park. The driver was a really friendly bearded man and after taking this photo he showed us all the picture--twice--for our approval. Let the record also state that Jon purposefully matched my outfit.
And that mostly catches us up to today! Today I fixed a chair, hated my haircut, and cleaned my room.



The Last Two Months

Here are the last two months of my life in pictures.
My birthday party went great! Jon made some of the best pizza ever, thanks should be said to Pizzeria Limone as well since we stole their pizzas. I think around fourty people showed up and we went pretty late eating and talking. I also succeeded in avoiding any birthday singing as there was no dessert
I finally got a desk! Six months after I moved in and I still had cardboard boxes in the corner of my room and a dusting desktop computer. I had very specific style and dimension demands but I finally found the perfect one and only busted around six holes in the staircase walls getting it up. I have a rug in my room now too but I am sick and I don't want to stage my room for a new photo.

One day I was talking to my co-worker Fernando about his hobbies and he mentioned he painted. When I asked him what he painted he told me to bring a picture of me in and he would paint it. Luckily I had a few photos leftover from Christmas so I brought it in and he painted this. He refused any payment. I hope my future children will become estranged over inheriting this painting one day.
For Valentine's Weekend my brother Seth came out to visit--really just to visit my Mother as it is her birthday as well. We hit downtown on Valentine's night and got to watch some weird dates, they were all dressed up and acting formal while eating french fries.
My friends Jon & Tallia went to Hawaii for a week so I had the pleasure of babysitting for them with Abby, Tallia's sister. It was so fun to watch the kids interact with the world and make up games. One day we went up to BYU and they wanted to play hide and seek in an open field, hence the picture above.
They wanted to do something, I dont even remember what, and we told them it was too dangerous. They then launched into this song. Harrison's back up rap is what really makes it.
Ice cream at Provo Beach Resort!
And that's the last two months of my life! I almost went to China which would have made this post a lot more exciting but I didn't.


You're invited, again!

Its my fourth annual birthday celebration! My birthday has been going on for many more years than four but I have been doing these parties for only four years now. It should be a lot of fun so be sure to stop by!
And yes, I realize I forgot the apostrophe.


Happy New Year!

While I always post my Christmas card online I also send a handful of physical letters to people and in them I always say something to send them to my blog with the promise of updates. I understand I have not been doing this for the past couple months but I want to do better.

For starters I had a lovely Christmas and New Years. While last year was an amazing experience to visit Pittsburgh and New York City I treasured the chance to stay home for the first time since Christmas 2003. Each day I went to bed in my own bed and woke up with no pressure to do anything.

Anyway, besides doing nothing which is boring to read about here are some things I did.

As you all know I am working for a catering company now and I did our first event mid-December. My old company, Mocavo, hired me on to cater their company party and we went all out. We served prime rib, herb mashed potatoes, roasted balsamic carrots, and bread pudding.
Playing the part while plating the pudding.
I was immensely ill-prepared and would have drowned if my friend Jon hadn't jumped in to save me. Still with his help I ended up working 22 hours the day of the event with prep, my standard gig, the event, and clean up. It was fun but I'll grab several people to help me next time.
For Christmas my mother made a roast goose! The whole house smelled like a Dickens novel. Besides making smoked potatoes for our small family dinner I found some purple sweet potatoes for our larger gathering. It was unreal how purple they were, it really looked like royal purple play-dough.
We finished the year off with a "Cat Show-Off" as planned by my friends' child and all went to bed promptly at 12:05.

Happy New Year!