31 December 2010

A Utah Christmas

On Christmas day, my brother, parents, and I flew out to Utah.

When we landed there wasn't any snow, but the next morning, on our "Christmas", we got a white one.

We got to see quite a few relatives, including Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Steve, Aunt Pat and Uncle Boyd, cousins Wil and Connor, and Aunt Merna and Uncle Willis. We spent most of our time playing games and laughing - both things that my family is known to do.

Opening presents, Grandma got what she's been waiting over a year for - wedding pictures. I gave her some prints as well as a book. She loved it.

Another present hit was Jakob's new shirt. Very fitting.

By the end of the night we had a pretty cool surprise.

The next day, Jake really wanted to see Uncle Willis' Buick that he's been restoring.
It looks pretty awesome!

On our last night, we convinced our parents to walk around the town center so we could see their Christmas light display. It was amazing. It was multiple blocks of amazing Christmas houses and lights!

The next day, we said goodbye to our family, the mountains, and the snow.

Happy New Year's Eve to everyone! What are your plans tonight?

30 December 2010

Jingle Bells

We spent Christmas morning with the Bells before I headed off to Utah. The funniest moment was actually on Christmas Eve. Linda found a temporary tattoo on her grandbaby and asked her, "Do you have any other tattoos I should know about?" To which Esme responded, "Not yet!" Esme's parents have many tattoos and they have always joked with Linda about tattooing the baby - the jokes started before she was even born. Needless to say, Esme's response generated many, many laughs. That is a story that is bound to live on forever.

For the record, we always laughed at people who dressed their dog.
Then we got a chihuahua mix who has the chihuahua shakes.
Rufus gets cold and needs clothes.
We don't love doing it, but the pup needs them!

Hope everyone had just as merry a Christmas as we did! 

29 December 2010

Our Christmas Eve

  The stockings were hung by the chimney with care... 

*Those stockings (minus the snowman) are my favorite knitting projects.

Dad got cashews in his stocking... and Al got a yak that Jakob made out of clay. 
Yes, a yak. 
I think it might be her favorite present.

Dad created DVDs of all of the old family videos he could find as a gift to Allison.
We watched footage of Jakob as a newborn through one year old. 
He was the cutest kid ever.
Watching the videos now you can see his brilliant mind developing already at only a year old.

In contrast, 
that tape also contained a video of me and two friends in middle school performing 
"The Killer Salad Dressing" - an extremely compelling movie that we made up for a school project.
I remember we thought it was fantastic and hilarious at the time.
...It was terrible. Simply terrible.

Oh, the memories.

Twas a fantastic Christmas Eve.

27 December 2010

Merry Merry!

Rufus in his Christmas morning PJs.
More pictures to come later this week!
Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!!!

23 December 2010

Merry Christmas Eve Eve

Celebrating Christmas at home we'll enjoy this tree

And celebrating on Christmas morning we'll enjoy this one with this company, along with a lot more family.
Hi, dearest in-laws!

We'll also be celebrating Christmas with my family tomorrow on Christmas Eve before we (Dad, Al, and Jakob) fly out to Utah on Christmas day. I'm very excited to visit my relatives along with the mountains and snow. I love Utah. Unfortunately, Jason is staying at home because he has to work, but we'll get to celebrate together before we leave. 

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas! 
Love to all.

19 December 2010

Lazy Sunday

We like our Sundays lazy.
Today wasn't exactly lazy but I managed to catch a cute lazy moment.
One more week until Christmas!!!

16 December 2010

Snow again, snow again, jiggity-jig

Did anyone else watch 24/7 Penguins/Capitals: Road to the Winter Classic on HBO last night? I loved it. Even though my dearest team is not doing very well (they lost again last night making the losing streak a total of seven in a row - ouch) it was really, really cool to get a "behind the scenes" look at my favorite professional sport.

So - SNOW. You already know how snow makes us happy. Today we got what I would call our first REAL snow. Snow that sticks. It looks like our snow storms from earlier this year (that's three separate links!)... but only in the beginning. It's expected to stop tonight (tear), and has already slowed down, but I hope it sticks for a while and stays clean and pretty.

Now you can actually see the snow behind us unlike last time.

A young trail-blazer with his sled.

Freezing cold pup.

In snow/holiday fashion, I wanted to make something "cozy" and holiday-like. First I thought I would make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies but we don't have eggs. So I tried making hot chocolate with soy milk (I try to avoid dairy when I'm sick, and I have been quite sick lately). Verdict: gross. Then I figured I would make dinner in the crockpot and decided to make this orange curry chicken dish again except this time I used orange cranberry marmalade instead of plain orange. It smells delicious right now - we'll see how it turns out!

10 December 2010

First Snow of the Season!

Can you see the snow? No? Well, there wasn't much but I promise you it was there!

Hooray for our first snow (flurries) of the season in DC!!!

Tonight we're laying low. The hubby is feeling kind of down so we're going to do fun things to cheer him up, like eat Chick-fil-a, play Super Mario Bros, and watch some funny TV on Hulu (we love Outsourced and Modern Family the most). I love cheering my love up. It's one of my favorite things to do... even when I'm sick as a dog!

09 December 2010

Still No Snow.... in DC

Last weekend I trekked down to Harrisonburg with my family to support my little bro in his First Lego League State Competition. His team didn't win anything but they did a really great job.

I managed to walk away from the weekend with my first taste of a fried oreo, my first snow of the season, and my first cold of the season thanks to the 5,000 middle schoolers I spent all day Saturday and Sunday with. Spending time with my family was really great, watching Jakob put his smarts to the test was amazing, the fried oreo was delicious beyond anything I dreamed of, and of course cheating by leaving DC to see my first snow of the season wasn't half-bad either.

So happy to see SNOOOOOW!!!!

06 December 2010

Let's Go Caps!

While my grandparents were in town for Thanksgiving, we all went to a Caps game! It was Jakob's first professional sport game so I let him wear my (old) jersey while I Rocked the Red.

 Grandpa, Grandma, Allison, Jason, Jakob, and Dad

Best of all - the Caps won! The final score was 3-2 which they won in a shoot-out. 
I love the high of a winning game!

It was a great night full of good food, good company, and darn good athletes. I can't wait to go to another game! Let's Go CAPS!!!!

28 November 2010

"Chalk it up to a starry night"

The night before Thanksgiving I won Carbon Leaf tickets! We had not seen them live before (although I attempted to see them at a local festival once before and failed), but if I have my way we'll see them again. They were fantastic live just like I imagined they'd be. They played a mix of old and new songs, and even a few Christmas songs which I promptly began singing and changing the lyrics to while we drove home. We also learned that VA is their home! Who knew!

Look what we passed on the way home!

They're popping up everywhere and I couldn't be happier. We count the number of houses with festive lights we see each night while driving and the count has been going up each day! Everything counts: holiday light bulbs, trees and candles in windows, and lights hanging both indoors and out. We counted 14 on Thanksgiving night, 28 the night after that, and 43 decorated houses in a 15-20 minute long drive last night!

25 November 2010


Since our families live in the same town, we are lucky enough to be able to bounce back and forth from house to house to see both of them. We're certainly thankful for that. Hopefully someday soon we'll live in the same town too!

We did our annual Turkey Trot, which Jason walked all of but I cut short so I could cook pumpkin pancakes for everyone! I didn't take the camera out much this year, but the ladies cooked up a great feast.

One of my favorite things about spending time with my with my family is hanging out with my brother. He keeps me young!

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! We are most thankful for you - our family and friends.

22 November 2010


Oftentimes I find myself thinking, "this would make a great picture" as I go through life. Then I don't take the picture because I'm embarrassed to squat down or contort my body to get the shot I want in public. I don't know what my problem is. I almost always carry my crappy little point-and-shoot and yet I miss photo opportunities constantly because of this embarrassment. Walking to the bus stop after work today I found a sidewalk covered in leaves. Something about it called to me. I walked on to the bus stop, knowing I was passing a great photo opportunity. But then I got over it. I turned around. I squatted on the ground in front of people waiting for their bus and cars sitting at a stop light. I took my picture. And you know what? It was worth it.

I liked the color version because it's orangey and you can make the leaves out a little better, but with my terrible point-and-shoot's quality (especially at night), its terrible grain looked much better in black and white. Almost like some good ol' TMAX film... but not quite as good looking ;)

17 November 2010

Twinkle, Twinkle

I get excited for the holidays early. We put these pretty lights up last weekend. I might be your worst nightmare if you don't like people that start bringing the holiday stuff out early... but I'm super happy with my lights. They put me in the best mood! Even Rufus' eyes sparkle to match their glow (haha). See our tiny Christmas tree on top of our bookshelf in the corner there? That is where it lives in the non-holiday months. Once it comes down, we'll light our pine-scented candle and pretend that we have a real tree... but maybe not until after Thanksgiving :)

Does anyone else get excited about the holidays this early or is it just me?

02 November 2010

Anniversary Cake!

Continuing with tradition, Jason and I ate the anniversary tier of our cake on our anniversary.  A little unsure what to expect from a frozen year-old cake (we heard some people say it was terrible while others said it was great), we rescued it from the freezer at my parents' house.

Last year, we cut the slice of cake a little too small for the cake knife to get it out. Here we are trying to figure out how to get our slice out without ruining the rest of the cake.

This year, we learned from our mistake and cut the piece bigger but had issues getting the knife through the (frozen) cake. Here we are muscling our way through it.

Last year, we went the clean route and used forks to feed cake to each other. That was the only bite of it we got that day... oh how I wish I ate more.

This year, in less expensive clothes, we went the messier route.

Last year: Delicious cake. It was a white butter cake torte layered with fresh strawberries and a
Grand Marnier accented whipped cream.

This year: Same cake. Not the same taste. It tasted like freezer and frozen strawberries. The frosting was actually pretty good but we're not the type to eat frosting without cake.

We had a really nice dinner with my family regardless of the not-so-delicious cake. It was fun to reminisce about the wedding, and doing so with our families made it that much better.

29 October 2010

Fav Boots

These boots are the best. My college friends pitched in and got them for me for my 21st b-day from Anthropologie (thanks, girls!). I've been wanting to wear them but don't think they're quite work-appropriate (am I wrong? If so, I'll keep wearing them). But today was casual Friday and the last day of work before Halloween and they seemed fitting and appropriate.

Aware and not caring that my oranges clash.

Happy Halloweenie weekend!

28 October 2010

First Anniversary Photo

Jason and I both think there is something really special about observing traditions that people have been celebrating for years. That is why we chose traditional vows in our ceremony. To celebrate our anniversary, we decided that we wanted to give each other the traditional one year gift of paper. This year we decided to purchase a scrapbook. In the scrapbook we will document our anniversaries with a photo of us taken on October 25 each year. Having a scrapbook to look back on to see how we change over the years together and how our family grows as the years go on will be such a special thing to have. So, without further ado, I bring you this year's photo, taken in my in-law's front yard.

And yes, that is a wooden raccoon in the tree.

26 October 2010

Hersheypark in the Dark Celebration

We got on the road on Friday and drove through Thurmont (where we got married!) and Gettysburg on our way to our anniversary weekend destination...

I have been dying to go to an amusement park for over a year and our anniversary seemed like the perfect time to go. It wasn't gross and hot like the summer (it bordered on cold and I thought about buying this hat) and it was much less busy.

We spent Friday and Saturday nights at the park so we didn't feel rushed and had enough time to ride (and eat) everything we wanted. Part of the appeal of an amusement park for me is the terrible-for-you-but-oh-so-delicious food like funnel cake!

There was a sad discovery: roller coasters now make me feel sick, even when I'm on motion-sickness medicine, which I usually take before long drives, and thus was on. So, so, so sad. That didn't really stop us though - we went on at least four coasters and took little breaks in between each one while my head got back to normal. That said... this might be my last trip to an amusement park for a while.

We also made sure we got a corn dog. We were so excited we forgot to take a picture before we ate it! Yum. 

This picture of us riding the Fahrenheit (the coaster is shown above) is pretty fantastic - check out Jason's face. Straight up and straight down! We were both laughing the whole time. We couldn't see straight when the ride was over because it tossed us around so much!

They had a s'mores stand! They roasted the marshmallows for you and gave you a fresh s'more. Perfection for our anniversary. Such a sweet surprise.

The Blue Man Group was also in town so we decided to go all out and see them at the Hershey Theater as well. I have seen them twice before on their "Complex Rock" tour while promoting that album. It was a little less musical this time, but there were also new things I hadn't seen before. It was a great show!

It was a truly fantastic weekend.

Stay tuned - we have two more anniversary-related posts coming up later this week from our actual anniversary yesterday.