Sunday, November 30, 2008

Holiday Happenings

For the long Thanksgiving weekend, Lennie and I were fortunate enough to join some friends at a cabin in the mountains for some much needed rest, relaxation, and fun. We completely disconnected from the world -- after logging off of the computer at work on Wednesday afternoon, I stayed away from computers for over five days. Our cell service was spotty, so we were really cut off from the world. I loved it, as it's not often that I'm not a slave to my cell phone or the computer.

We joined our friends and their family on Wednesday evening after a pleasant drive over Snoqualmie Pass. The night was punctuated by the kids making pies in the kitchen while the rest of us lounged and chatted. Thursday brought a bevy of people (over 20 people joined us throughout the day), cooking, and walking by the lake. It was wonderful and overwhelming all at the same time. The family welcomed us in with open arms, and it was fun to learn more about one another.

I attempted to teach the girls how to knit, which they seemed to enjoy. Hopefully they're on their way to successful knit scarves -- we'll see!

Friday brought drizzle and clouds, so we made our way in to Suncadia Lodge to try to take the kids ice skating. Unfortunately, we got to the rink too late, so we explored town for a little bit, and we ran into an old friend at a local coffee shop. I had the opportunity to catch up with her after not seeing her for over a year. What a fun surprise!

On Saturday, Lennie was fortunate enough to go out quading with our friends. He came back a little sweaty, but with a huge smile on his face. I suspect that it was the highlight of his weekend, but haven't confirmed it. After a great pasta dinner, we packed up the cars and went back to Suncadia for a night of ice skating. The trees were adorned with festive lights and Christmas music hummed in the background. It was warm out, even when we weren't standing by the fire, which made for a great evening out.

We packed up and traveled home on today, stopping at the outlet mall on the way home to score a few new items.

For me, the best part of every Thanksgiving weekend is putting up the decorations. So, despite our miserable colds and fatigue, we put up the tree. It's twinkling in the corner as I type this, and I can't help but smile as I look around the house at the different decorations. We've got snowmen by the front door, stockings are hung by the chimney with care, and I'm ready to greet the holiday season.

So there you are, you're now up with the holiday happenings around our home. I hope that you all had a great Thanksgiving holiday weekend too, and that this message finds all of you healthy and happy.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'll be unplugging myself from the computer for the next few days, but before I shut down, I thought that I would send one last message:

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope that you are surrounded by friends and family over the next few days, and that your time together is filled with laughter and fun.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


This is the time of year where we sit back and reflect on life, and ponder the things that we are thankful. So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I thought that I would reflect on what I am thankful about this year.

Friends and family come to mind immediately, and I am truly grateful for the people that I have surrounding me. My husband is one of the greatest guys in the world (I may be a little biased on that assesment), and I love that he always has the power to make me smile, calm me down, and make my heart flutter, no matter what is swirling around me.

My parents really kick butt (if you know them, you'd likely agree whole heartedly with me on that one), and I couldn't ask for better people to have raised and molded me into what I am today.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: my friends rock. It's great to know that there is a long list of people that I can lean on in times of need, but that I can also sit and enjoy the sunnier side of life too. How can you complain about life when you're surrounded by cool people? I'm thankful that I've got a great group surrounding me.

Faith. I am fortunate that I live in a place that allows me to freely practice my faith, and that I can voice my opinion without major backlash. Without the foundation of faith, I don't think that I would be the person that I am today. I'm truly blessed to have God in my life. Also, I go to an awesome church with a community that is feeding and challenging me. I am constantly thankful for the power of community.

In a time of financial recession, I'm grateful to have a job that pays me fairly and that challenges me every day. I love that I'm in a position where I'm not bored with what I do, and I want to go to work almost every day. With so many layoffs and other uncertainties around me, I'm very thankful that I'm gainfully employed and doing a job that I enjoy.

Redemption. I'm thankful that the Husky football season is almost over, and that next year is a new, fresh start. (I had to get one last note in about Husky football, don't you think?!)

Beauty. We live in a beautiful place, surrounded by snow-kissed mountains, water, and wildlife that constantly takes my breath away. There have been so many times where I have turned a corner when driving somewhere, and I'm just taken aback by the beauty of the place that I live.

I've got a lot to be thankful for, that's for sure. I'm thankful for all of you, readers and friends, too. Hopefully, wherever you are, and whatever your doing this year, you're taking some time to ponder what you're thankful for too.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Not Amused

I have just spent the afternoon watching the heartbreaking 101st Apple Cup game, where cross-state rivals University of Washington played Washington State University. For most of the game, we were in the lead. And then, well, we 'Couged it.' Seriously Couged it, actually, and at the end of a double-overtime match-up, we lost by a field goal.

To my Husky footbal players, I say this: I am not amused. Really not amused. This was the one game that you needed to win, and you didn't come through. I'm disappointed, but I am confident that there's always next year, right? Right.

There may be one game left in the season, but I give up. I'm not going to sit on the edge of my seat hoping that it'll go better. Rather, I'm going to hold on to the hope of next year, and be grateful for a perfectly bad season. I'm a Husky fan, I should be used to this by now, I think.

I'm still not amused though!

Monday, November 17, 2008


It's the best time of year: Dreyer's Apple Pie ice cream is back. I have searched high and low (literally) for weeks for this wonderful delight, and today, I finally found it. One lonely carton of Apple Pie ice cream awaited me in the Safeway frozen foods section, and now it sits in my freezer. I have been anticipating the first bite all afternoon... yum!
Apple Pie Ice Cream!!

Welcome back Dreyer's Apple Pie ice cream, oh how I've missed you! :-)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Did You Crawl Into My Brain?

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to reconnect with some friends over a great dinner. It was well worth missing the (terrible) Husky game to share laughter and smiles with friends.

Part of the conversation turned to the abundance that we enjoy in America, which can be found in our grocery stores and warehouse stores. I think that sometimes we forget how much we have here in the U.S., but when people come here, it can be overwhelming. Our abundance was a small but powerful topic of the dinner conversation.

Fast forward to the sermon today, where our pastor gave a short illustration, quoting comedian Yakov Smirnoff about the overwhelming number of choices at the supermarket. Oh pastor, how were you able to crawl into my brain, or my life for that matter, and address this topic so appropriately? I'm one of 2,000+ parishioners on Sunday, and yet you knew to mention that story in your sermon. Amazing. I am constantly blown away by how appropriate each week's sermon is, it's like someone has crawled into my brain and picked out exactly what I needed to hear.

I'm grateful, that's for sure, for timely messages, and for being able to stich together seemingly different experiences into this quilt of life. Can't wait to see what comes together this week!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sad News Week

It's been quite the week, as it seems that our family has gotten a fair amount of sad news lately. One of the good things to come out of it, though, is that it has brought out the true value of family for me. I've always been blessed with a great family, full of love, compassion, and support. In fact, I couldn't ask for a better family, you just can't top them in my book.

Today, we attended the funeral mass and celebration of life for a family member who died suddenly a week ago. It was an amazing experience, grieving for a loved one while remembering all of the great things that came from his life and what a blessing it was to know him. We didn't get to spend a lot of time with him, but the one thing that will always be burned into my memory is his wonderful smile. I was impressed by his family (and our extended family), so gracious at such a tender time, and so full of love for the people around them. What a blessing to know such people.

While we did receive a fair amount of sad news this week, one of the things that I will always remember is the power of community and the power of family. If you haven't done so recently, I highly recommend telling the people around you how much you love them and take a moment to reflect on the wonderful people that are surrounding you. I know that I love my family, and am certainly grateful to have them in my life!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Relaxing Weekend

Halloween marked the anniversary of our first date, so on Friday night, Lennie and I trekked to Red Robin for our traditional Halloween date night and some people watching. We enjoyed some great food and conversation, and then went over to our friends house to help with trick-or-treaters and a party for ~20 junior high schoolers. It was a lot of fun to see all of the kids dressed up, and to help out with the party games. Definitely better than sitting at home without trick-or-treaters, that's for sure!

On Saturday, we relaxed at my parent's house before coming home to watch part of the UW game (kind of glad that I took a nap instead of watching the game!) and attend our neighbor's pirate-themed party. People went all-out on their pirate costumes, and it was cool to meet some new people while also connecting with other friends after a few months. Our neighbor decorated his condo -- going all out with wall coverings, cannon balls (okay, balloons) on the deck, and a plank completed the motif. Most amazing was his jack-o-lantern with a ship carved in it. I wish I had gotten a photo of it -- the attention to detail was fabulous.

Today, we went to church and listened to a great sermon and then had the opportunity to reconnect with our friend Kevin, who was in town for the weekend. Had a great lunch with fun conversation, and then came home to relax.

Friends. Laughter. Fun. That's what I call a great weekend! :-)