Archive for the ‘Holiday’ Category

Easter is always a busy time of year, so it was nice to get a chance to celebrate this year.  I got home from Easter Vigil on Saturday night around 10:30pm and Anson and I decided to color some eggs.

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I had forgotten how much fun this is—and how loooooong you have to hold an egg with the wire thingy to dye it half one color and half another!  We kept busy while we were dying eggs by trying to solve a cryptic crossword.  I think we got about 3 clues solved before we finished dying eggs Smile



I had decided that I was going to try to make a lamb dish this year—a tradition in our family. My mom normally makes a full leg of lamb, but since there’s only 2 of us (truthfully, 1 of us—no way Anson is eating an untested recipe), I wanted to do something on a much smaller scale.  I found a recipe for a healthy lamb stew, but it takes about 14 hours to cook. So, at about 1 in the morning, I started putting it together.


After chopping all the ingredients, it was basically “just add water and press start.” That’s my kind of cooking!  I was in bed before 2—phew!

On Easter morning, I got up early to get to church to play bells (woohoo!) and then made my way home for a long Easter nap.  When I got up, I tried some of my traditional Easter lamb stew—and stopped about 2 bites in.  It wasn’t lethal, but it sure wasn’t good. It tasted like meat and veggies in water. If I try it again, I’ll definitely need to add salt, pepper, and garlic.  So, we had Chinese food for dinner.  Yum!  Just like Christmas Smile

We hope you all had a wonderful Easter with family and friends!

Every year, making Thanksgiving dinner gets easier.  It took several years for us to get things right.  The first year, we didn’t defrost the turkey (oops!).  In the following years we made a few minor mistakes, like accidentally cooking the turkey upside down (still yummy!).  Around year 5, we were pretty comfortable with the routine and were actually able to get dinner on the table at a reasonable hour—and that’s when things started to get a bit crazy.

For a few years, we deep fried a turkey.  And one year, we did the 11 hours of prep and 17 hours of cooking that go with making a turducken from scratch.  But this year, we didn’t do anything crazy.  We had a small group coming and decided to keep the menu pretty basic.  Well, if you can call cooking a 19 lb turkey for 8 people “basic.”

For the past couple of years I have always made a hearty vegetarian soup for, well, the vegetarians.  We didn’t have any vegetarians this year, but I had a spicy peanut pumpkin soup recipe picked out and I ran with it. It was not meant to be.

I got almost all the way through the recipe.  I was at the point where you put the soup into a blender (a few cups at a time) to give the soup that nice, smooth consistency.  In years past I have had the lid fly off the blender, so I was prepared.  I secured the lid and used a potholder while holding it down.  It worked for the first 2 batches of the soup.  On the last batch…well…I guess, technically, it worked.  The lid did not fly off the blender. My hand did not get burned.  But in that fateful moment, just seconds after turning the blender on, there was a loud grinding sound.  The blender started shaking.  I quickly pressed the stop button and began to assess the situation.  My hand was still placed oDSCN1924n top of the lid. Nothing had gone flying out, the soup was still in the blender. Hmmm. I lifted my hand and that’s when I saw it.  It was tragic.  In an awkward moment of anti-soup rebellion, the blender had eaten itself.  The middle part of the lid had been swallowed by the blender and destroyed, along with the soup.  Why did you do this to yourself, blender??? How could you leave me?! 

Was my soup really that terrible?  Did nobody eat my soup because it was that bad? Or was it because you died making it?  I may never know… 

This year on Thanksgiving, I was grateful that my cooking only killed my blender.

During December, Anson and I enjoy hopping in the car and driving around different neighborhoods to see Christmas lights.  This year we found a particularly amazing house.  There was a sign with a radio station at the side of the yard.  If you listen to the station, you can hear Christmas music synced up to the light show.  We got a little video.  Enjoy!

This year, Anson and I decided to put some more effort towards decorating for the holidays.  We are trying out some new Halloween decorations and have been really happy with the results.  The pictures don’t really do them justice, but we’ll post them anyway 🙂

First, we put some black haunted decorations in the family room.  They are glittery and the chandelier is the centerpiece—these are the best pictures I could get.


In the background of the second shot, you can see we have some “Halloween” crime scene tape placed along our back door.  We’ve also decorated the dining area (more on that later).

The doorway has spider webs, which has been a tradition for a few years now. I have to duck to get around it, but it’s one of my favorite things about this time a year. It really sets a tone.


The webs also block the bathroom door (unfortunately—nobody’s perfect!).

The dining room is more fall-themed.  It’s great because it means it can stay up for Thanksgiving.



You can see the plaid table cloth, the orange lights, and the pumpkins hanging from the ceiling.  Also, we carved our first pumpkin of the year!



Pumpkin carving is SO MUCH FUN!  I like to clean out the pumpkin so that I can roast pumpkin seeds—Anson likes to carve.  We’re a perfect match!  We’ll probably carve at least one more this year.  We’ve been watching Halloween Wars and are greatly inspired by Ray Villafane.  Anson says he might even try sculpting a pumpkin 🙂

Our last decoration is an oldie but goodie:


The evil screaming mask! AHHHH!

We hope y’all are having as much fun as we are 🙂

Anson and I have really been enjoying the holidays this year.  We were lucky that Anson was able to take some time off in December to relax and have fun.  And by “have fun,” I mean “write apps.”  He’s written 3 so far, including a cute Christmas snow app for me!  Considering there has been no sign of snow yet, it’s nice to be able to see it on my phone. Gotta love my hubby 🙂

To kick off the season, we went to Jane and Eric’s annual Christmukah Party.  Delicious food, good friends—it was awesome!  It’s my yearly excuse to drink eggnog 🙂


Here’s a pic of the entire group (Thanks Sunava!).  Anson and I are the ones in the ridiculous Christmas sweaters.  You can’t really see mine, but you can check out Anson’s new sweater—Santa is golfing on it.  I need to find a better one for next year though.  I’m thinking a flashing Rudolph nose would be awesome.  In the meantime, we have some pretty awesome Christmas socks to help make us look a little more Christmas-y.  I mean, when else can you get away with wearing these clothes?

The next night, we went to see the Nutcracker.  I LOVED IT!  The dancing was so impressive and it SNOWED ON STAGE!  We may have to make this a holiday tradition! Plus, it gave us an excuse to get dressed up.



On Christmas Eve I rang bells with my church choir.  This year, we rang Hark the Herald Angels Sing.  We also rang Little Drummer Boy while the children’s choir sang.  It was a lot of fun! If they end up sending out a recording of the performance, I will post it.

In the wee hours of the morning, Santa arrived and we were able to open our presents! We were already in our Christmas jammies—I had reindeer footie pajamas and Anson had robot jammies.

We had a lot of fun with stocking stuffers this year. Or should I say, Anson had fun with stocking stuffers this year.  It was a complete surprise!

I got a flip/flap plant (I can’t kill it! yay!).


Naturally, it was from a reindeer:


Anson and I both got 6 pairs of Christmas socks, but Beta tried to steal them.



I got some cupcake lip gloss from Mrs. Claus—she knows how much I like to bake!



And Anson got some lightsaber chopsticks from Darth Vader.  Don’t ask me how Vader got involved with Christmas.  I’m thinking maybe Anson is sending his list to the wrong guy 🙂



Anson got me a glowing necklace. We were having trouble getting a good pic of it, but believe me when I say that it is glows purple—super cool! Plus, I got several colored necklaces from Aaron and Daniela. I’m set!




We also got to play with some gifts from our family:


Anson got a train set! I need to get a new picture (it is currently running around our Christmas tree).  He also got a sound bar for the tv. Now we’ll actually be able to hear our shows without turning the volume all the way up!


Games!  We’ve played Pirate Fluxx a few time and Anson will probably start playing Batman while he’s still off work.  Fun stuff!


Anson got me a stand mixer for my Christmas gift! Now I’ll actually be able to mix things without pulling a muscle in my arm. Thanks hun!



And, of course, we exchanged our traditional anniversary ornaments.  He got me a crystal candy cane and I got him a Gizmo ornament.  I figured that his favorite Christmas movie should be represented somewhere 🙂


We want to thank our families for sending such wonderful gifts!  I need to start writing some Thank You cards—and I can do that easily since Mary gave me some nifty card-making materials for Christmas.  Merry Christmas EVERYONE!

This year we ended up with a pretty big group at the house for Thanksgiving.  All told, I think we had around 12 people.  So, naturally I baked a 23 lb turkey for dinner 🙂

I have to say that this year’s turkey was particularly good.  I’m beginning to think that the bigger the turkey is, the better it is going to taste.  I’m sure we eat enough turkey at our house to thoroughly test out this theory over the next year.

This year I baked 2 apple pies and chocolate cake pops for dessert. I think I am going to have to accept that we don’t all eat like college students any more.  We didn’t even finish the pies!  Ah well—Thanksgiving leftovers are awesome!

We kept many of our Thanksgiving traditions alive, including making Chris carve the turkey. He did an excellent job, as always. And there’s only a 33% chance that he’s the one who dented the tin to leak turkey grease all over the counter. That percentage gets better every year. Go Chris!


We got to spend time catching up with our friends, old and new 🙂



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Irfaan brought over a new game to share with us.  It’s called “Betrayal at House on the Hill.”  It was a pretty awesome game (and he let us keep it because he’s super awesome)!

Basically, everybody explores the haunted house until “the bad thing” happens.  One person betrays the rest of the group and they battle against each other until the end.  The game has a huge number of scenarios that can play out, so it’s fun to play multiple times.

Here are a couple shots of the board as we first started exploring the haunted house.



Then Fiona betrayed us!  You can tell, since she has the “Traitor Tome.” 🙂



Just a couple pics of Michael and Irfaan enjoying the game.  Go good guys!



And Chris helped Fiona as she attacked us all. Go traitors! 😛


We also played Stomple and Martian Flux (and 2 more games of Betrayal at House on the Hill with Irfaan at the end of the night).

We had such a great time celebrating with friends and can’t wait to do it again next year.

Thanks everyone for making our Thanksgiving a happy one!


The Easter Bunny was here! 🙂


No books this year, but we did get “Tangled” and a travel version of Pictionary, so we were pretty happy. It’s as though the Easter Bunny could read our minds 🙂

Generally speaking, Anson and I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day. Neither of us get really excited about going out and making it a huge event.  That said, we will make each other cards, etc for fun (but really, who doesn’t like breaking out the construction paper and glue?) or watch a movie at home.  I guess we’re just a laid back couple.

Until this year.

It all started on Saturday.  Anson had been out and about and when he came home– <BAM!> beautiful pink rose.  I was surprised and all smiles. And yet, I knew the gauntlet had been thrown down.  I suddenly had the desire to be equally surprise-like with a gift.

So, while he was at work on Monday, I ran out and got some supplies to make t-shirts.  Mine had a giant sequin heart on it and read “You had me at Hello World” and his read “Your wish is my shift command.”  Clever? Maybe. Do people get the jokes? Maybe not. They were both stolen from tv/internet and I like them, so that’s that.  It’s the thought that counts! And it took me all afternoon to make them, so I was pretty proud of myself.  I put on my t-shirt and placed his in a box with a bow.  When he got home, he found his gift and then—<BAM!> beautiful garnet ring!

Needless to say, Anson won this Valentine’s Day 🙂

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It’s a new year and I finally have my computer set up so that I can post again 🙂

Anson, being the brilliant husband that he is, has bought me not one, but TWO pieces of new technology.  For Christmas he gave me a kindle.  I wasn’t sure how much I would use it at first. However, after losing a week of time because I was reading through the night and sleeping part of the day—I’m convinced he made a good gift choice.  Truthfully, I woke up one day and, upon realizing I had no idea what day it was, figured I should probably take a little break.  Maybe go play with some of my other toys 🙂

He also got me a ninja computer.  For all of you people out there who are actually knowledgeable about technology and worried you don’t know what a “ninja computer” is, let me assure you that it is not an actual product, it’s just what I call my computer—my computer with hidden compartments that I need my husband’s help to open. On the plus side, I don’t play with the compartments, which makes it less likely that I will break my computer <knock on wood>.

Speaking of things breaking—the first 2011 casualty of my ability to break things through normal use has occurred.  I broke the wine opener. Yes, after years of using it once or twice, it has “bit the dust.”  Ironically, it did so on the day that I finally found a QFC that carries the wine I like.  I feel like I’m living an Alanis Morisette song.

Anybody have any new years resolutions this year?  I really dislike writing them.  I’m always disappointed at the beginning of the following year when I realize all of the things I haven’t done yet.  So, this year I decided to write a list for Anson instead.

1. Watch more 80’s movies.  He’s seen shockingly few.  I’m tempted to narrow the field more by saying he needs to watch some John Hughes 80’s movies (I mean, who hasn’t seen Sixteen Candles? Seriously!?).

2. Play more WoW. You may be thinking, “why?”…because I think he should have a resolution to do something that will make him happy 🙂

3. And lastly, expand his ugly sweater collection. I want him to have an ugly sweater for every holiday party next year! 

I suppose I will write one for myself. Just to be fair. And because Anson is sitting across the room from me right now trying to convince me that I am responsible for some of his resolutions.  So, here goes:

1. I will take more  pictures.

But not for this post 🙂

Expect pictures of our new office set up in my next post. 

Wow, it has been an exciting holiday!  We spent Christmas Eve having dinner with some friends.

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I made truffles for dessert. While I was making them, I thought to myself “wow, there’s a lot of chocolate in this bowl. I wonder how many truffles this recipe makes.”  Turns out, it makes 144.  Oops! :-)  Well,  lesson learned! Always read the recipe BEFORE beginning to cook!  On a completely different note, does anybody want some truffles?


After that, I went to ring bells at church. We rang Carol of the Bells faster than we’ve ever played it before! It was great!!!

I got home just in time to get ready for Santa’s arrival.  At 12:00 my countdown ornament read “Merry Christmas! Ho Ho Ho!” 🙂

At 12:01 we sat beneath the tree, ready to open presents!

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We got lots of neat stuff from Santa in our stockings.  Mugs! Socks! Yay!


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We also opened our 8-year anniversary gifts!  We got each other ornaments 🙂

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Now, we are settling down to watch a Christmas movie.  What a wonderful day! Merry Christmas to all! And to all a good night 🙂