Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Is Coming!

our mini tree

We put up our Christmas decorations the weekend after Thanksgiving, and I've slowly been adding presents under the tree and other little decorations here and there. I love the mini tree that my aunt gave me as a gift years ago. It's almost getting to the point where I am going to need a bigger tree soon, because I keep buying ornaments. Maybe I'll have two trees some day! I can't wait to keep adding to my collection of holiday decorations. It's also a fun thing to share with loved ones! Nate and I can add to our collection together now.

I just love having a beautifully decorated tree, but I love getting a stocking full of fun little surprises even more. Buying thoughtful little gifts to stuff someone's stocking with is always fun for me. I love seeing how excited friends and family get when they find the perfect little gift in their stocking.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Our Adventure in Wedding Registries

Can you tell which pitcher is the "manly" pitcher? I chose to register for the one on the left (the more curvy, "womanly" one), and Nate chose the one on the right. Isn't it funny that there are such different ideas for beauty and what we like, when it comes to which sex is doing the choosing? These pitchers sort of represent Nate and I in a way. I'm the pitcher on the left, and he's the tall skinny one on the right. haha

It was a little entertaining when we registered at our first store. We were both a bit tired after spending some time at the mall, and we weren't exactly excited to be there. It was a little surreal registering for our upcoming wedding. It sort of made our wedding plans feel more real. The registering process made it feel a little like Christmas. Nate and I both found things that we liked and wanted. After "shooting" things with the scanner for what seemed like hours, I still kept finding things that I wanted to scan and register. A few times, Nate asked me if I wanted him to get me this or that? He'd say "I'll get this for you" and scan it. It was like an unlimited cash flow, but you don't actually get the gifts at the time.... but you might! I told Nate that I'd be his spotter, and he could be the shooter. It was sort of like we were hunting. After scanning some things we wanted, we left feeling better than when we got there. It wasn't as bad as Nate thought it was going to be. Mission accomplished.

Of all the things we scanned... I'd have to say we both had a favorite item that we agreed upon. It was a book called the "World's Best Beers". That's something we're both hoping we get as a gift and we're excited to learn more about good beer. Great ending to the day!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Holy Happy Turkey Day... almost!

My dad flew in from Michigan today and the first stop was the grocery store to pick up some things for Thanksgiving dinner. This year is going to be a small dinner, but I'm sure just as good as any other. This year it's just me, my fiance Nate, and my dad. I'm hoping we won't have the horror stories of wives who cook their first Thanksgiving dinner. I think maybe with our combined brain power we'll be able to pull off something decent. :)

Today I felt a little like Julie Powell, the author of Julie and Julia. I am definitely not much of a baker, so it's always a bit nerve-wrecking when I pull whatever it is I'm baking out of the oven. It might look like an explosion in a bread pan, or it might come out looking good but be tough in the middle... and the stories go on and on. So today after I picked up my father, and Nate was working in the simulator, I decided I'd make pumpkin spice bread with a cheesecake filling. I saw the "Dessert Diva" make it on channel 2 news one morning. I was feeling motivated and bought all the ingredients to make it for Thanksgiving dinner. It's only Tuesday, but tomorrow we're busy so today was the day to make the bread! It asked for room temperature cream cheese, but I forgot to take it out of the fridge to warm up. Aaahh, you can use cold cream cheese right?! Oh yes, so I mixed the "chilled" cream cheese up with an egg, sugar, and water. It looked sort of like creamed corn out of a can, chunky and somewhat creamy. I wasn't sure if that was how it was supposed to look... oh well. After 50 mins. of baking in the oven it actually came out looking like a loaf of bread! Sweet victory... but not too soon, we haven't tasted it yet. I'm making them wait until Thanksgiving day and then we can review the bread. I'll keep you all posted. ;) You never know.

I also made the cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving dinner today, because I'm worried about making everything on Thanksgiving day. We made a great sauce at my aunt's house about 3 years ago for dinner. I asked her how to make it and she couldn't remember how we put it together that year. So another experiment was on the way today... and I think it might turn out okay. I found a recipe in a magazine and I edited it a little to be more like the one we made three years ago. I followed it pretty closely, except for the half package of jello mix that I added... and some cold water. I can't wait to give that a try too.

So tomorrow we're going to Ft. Collins, CO to tour the New Belgium Brewery. The last time that Nate, my dad, and I went we missed out on the tour. People were lined up outside at 10am that morning to get tour tickets. The last time I took a tour, my uncle had picked me up at the airport in Denver since I flew in from MI, I fainted and collapsed onto the floor. They gave us all sorts of free things and tried to bring an ambulance, which I refused. They told me I was dehydrated and affected by the altitude change. So this year I won't be having a repeat of that year. I've warned everyone to stay hydrated and to be prepared for a day of tasting beer and touring breweries! Tomorrow will be a good day.

I'll keep everyone updated as to the results and reviews of the bread and cranberry sauce! Hopefully the turkey and stuffing come out alright too. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. <3

Thursday, October 8, 2009

It's Official... Summer's Over

I know it's been fall for a little while now, but it's official now. Summer is over! It's been snowing at our place south of Denver for over an hour, so goodbye summer weather. Fall is here!

Nate and I ran (and by ran I mean drove) to the store to get some hot chocolate to enjoy on our beautiful snowy day. Hopefully it just keeps snowing.... and snowing...

We have a powdery white ground cover and it looks like the pool maintenance guys covered up the pool just in time today for this winter weather. Now I can't stop thinking about snowboarding, sledding with my cousin... and just plain enjoying the snow being around for a while.

I will never forget when I moved here 3 years ago from Michigan, how enjoyable the crazy blizzards were the winter of 2006-07. I'm not sure I've ever seen that much snow in one place before!

sledding after a winter blizzard in 2006

It's no exaggeration to say that we got 3 feet of snow one weekend and the next weekend we got 3 more feet, and it went on like that for what seemed like an entire month or two. The Denver International Airport shut down over Christmas... stranding tons of unfortunate travelers over the holiday. My aunt cooked delicious meals when we were stuck in the house for days on end. No joke... the plows never made it to the street I lived on, so there was no venturing out unless it was by foot or cross country ski. I loved every moment of it! Needless to say, my cousin and I took advantage of her multiple snow days, and we built a sweet "luge run" in the side yard. This thing had 3 foot side walls to keep you on it's twisting path, but the real excitement came when you plowed through the bottom of the path into an open field where you ran into the one pine tree down there (there was never anything you could do to avoid it) and pinecones rained down onto you! Yeeeah! We even got my aunt out there to give it a try too. That was one snow-filled winter.

I think every time it snows in Denver I keep wanting it to be the same as that first winter I spent here. What a special time! Guess I'll just have to keep making amazing memories and have some adventures this winter to try and top the winter of 06 and it's never ending blizzards. Maybe with a little something special we'll get tons and tons of snow this winter too. One can hope. With that said... I know it's only October and my family and friends in Michigan probably don't want to hear this yet, but "let it snow, let it snow, let it snow" :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

To Blog or Not To Blog

I have this strange resistance to new technology, almost as if there's this 90 year old trapped in this 26 year old body, and I don't want to let go of the old and embrace the new. Maybe change freaks me out a little. So here I am starting a blog, something that I've resisted for quite some time now.

I'm not one to keep up with technological trends, and, quite frankly, I think technology is moving too fast for anyone to keep up with it all. It seems there's always something "bigger and better" right around the corner. Blogging scares me a bit, but I found a few blogs I like and wouldn't mind having my own.

"To blog or not to blog" that is the question.

So I guess for now my answer is "to blog", but I'm not sure what the outcome of blogging will be. Maybe I'll hate it and it will be this useless thing I wish I had never started. Maybe I'll embrace this use of technology and love my blog. But you never know unless you try, right? It's worth a shot. (: