Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Gingerbread Houses

We also went to a little Gingerbread making party at Dave and Denise's.
Aren't we stylish?
The fixings:
We put little people and a tree in our house:
The finished product:



Nicol's Packer's house:


Addy & Mom's:
Melinda & Larry's:
All of us:

New York

Hello long lost friends! I've been so busy I haven't had a free moment to write to you.

Last week I was in New York with my mom and sister Melinda. Here are a few highlights:




We saw Phantom of the Opera on Broadway!






Thursday, December 11, 2008

Three Years


Three years ago today, with one kiss, Jerad and I crossed from being good friends to dating.

At first I was worried. We had been friends for 8 years at that point. What if "we" didn't work out? Would it ruin our friendship too? Obviously that didn't happen.

We've had our ups and downs since we've been together.

Downs:

*Had the landlord sell the house we were renting and evict us.
*Moved 3 times (in three months!) before settling into a house.
*Both had complete career changes.
*Supported each other through deaths in both families.
*Had a miscarriage at 11 weeks.

Ups:

*Gone to Hawaii.
*Acquired 2 cats and three dogs.
*Completely changed our eating habits to a more organic and healthy lifestyle.
*Remodeled the house.
*Taken multiple trips to Oregon, Yosemite, and Disneyland just for fun.
*Made new friends and strengthened old friendships.

All in all, it has been a pretty eventful three years! This past year has been the best by far. And I can't wait for the next year, and the year after that, and on and on and on. We have grown so much both as individuals and as a couple.

Right now I'm making a scrapbook of the last year (I do one each Christmas) and I had forgotten all of the amazing things we had done! Concerts, horseback rides, trips to the lake/beach, hot springs, Yosemite, camping, Monterey, family events, wine tasting (apparently I wine tasted every weekend the first 1/2 of this year:), San Fransisco, weddings, and soooo much more.

So Jerad, thank you. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being my friend these last 11 years and still wanting to date me (crazy). Thanks for never failing to entertain me. Thanks for making my life so wonderful and for always knowing the right things to say and do during the times when its not. I guess I'll keep you around for awhile:)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Television is not our friend


When I was in Jr. High I asked one of my best friend's mom why she didn't have a TV in the Master Bedroom.

She told me because the bedroom was for other things.

I laughed at the time, but her comment always stuck with me. Yes, the bedroom IS for other things. Sleeping (duh), talking, cuddling, getting frisky/freaky. I decided right then that when I was a "grown up" I would not have a TV in my bedroom. And I never have.

When I'm sick and want to stay in bed, Jerad will set up movies for me on my laptop. If I want to take a nap and listen to the TV (ha like that happens soooo frequently) I do it on the couch.

Jerad *zones out* when anything is on television. A commercial, infomercial, program, something he doesn't even like... it just doesn't matter. He can not multi task if there is anything on television, much less fall asleep if it is on. He is drawn to it like a moth to a flame. I on the other hand can fall asleep like no other if the TV is on. I think if we had a TV in our bedroom I would never have suffered so many sleeping problems.

But also we would not have all the nights where we get in bed and end up talking to 2 or 3 (or 5 or 6) in the morning. Or as many snuggle-fests. Don't even get me started on the implications to our sex life (although the neighbors might appreciate it).

Then a few months ago I bought a little LCD TV for the guest room. The day after Thanksgiving we switched satellite companies and they installed service in there as well. Annnnd they gave us HBO, Starz, and all those movie channels. Free. For 3 months.

Sunday night we (meaning Jerad because I promptly fell asleep) watched a movie in there*.

Monday night we watched Georgia Rule (terrible movie!) on TV and didn't to to sleep until after 11:30.

Tuesday night Transformers was on and didn't get over until midnight.

We both have to get up for work before 6. We can't stay up like that. And we used to be talky snuggly sleepers. I am pretty sure that having a TV in your guest room and watching it every night then sneaking back to your own bedroom is is even worse than just putting one in your own bedroom.

So, we're putting a kabosh on the late night television rendevous. We'll have to go back to reading and then talking and... lovey stuff. Oh the shame!

What do you think about tv's in he bedroom? Does it work/not work for you?

*I sincerely apologize to all of our overnight guest who have slept on that bed. Ugh, not so comfortable! Or maybe just not compared to the bed we usually sleep on? I don't get it, its a nice mattress with a feather bed top but oi.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Clarification

As far as my last post goes, I wasn't trying to involve Jerad in any decisions. I was just going to see which ones he liked because I figured he would pick the same, or very similar dresses.

After I saw his, er, "style" I had to show him mine to see if he hated them because who wants a disappointed groom at the end of the isle?

That said, I am sooo not traditional about the groom not seeing the dress. Last time we did about 90% of the pics before the ceremony. Jerad is more of a traditionalist and has put the kibosh on that one.

It took me less than a year to get him to step out of the meat and potatoes box and like eating some ethnic foods, so abandoning his [questionable] wedding dress fashion ideas shouldn't be so hard. We could do a trade, he pretends he likes it, and I agree to serve meat and potatoes at the reception!

As long as we don't disagree about the open bar right?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Waaaaay different tastes.

Last week Jerad and I were looking at Wedding dresses on line. Well, I was and asked him which ones he liked best because I KNEW that he would pick the ones that were my fav right? I mean, we have the same tastes in almost everything else.

Oh Lordy Lordy....

Keep in mind that whenever we do get married, we are planning on a rustic sort of "country-chic" wedding...

Here is my number one choice (Nicole Miller):




And 2nd fav (Maggie Sottero):



And then Jerad's 2 favorites:

The sleeveless version of this:
And this thing:
He also likes this one:
And this, which is weird to me because it looks NOTHING like the other 3:
I like the last one as well. Especially compared to the others. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with the other dresses... but everyone has different choices and they are so not me. Jerad hates if I get dresses that have any sort of bauble or anything fancy on the chest so I am really surprised that is what he picked. He is usually a plain-jane kind of guy.

That being said, he did like the Maggie Sottero dress. Especially once he found out that the top has all sorts of beads and sequins (who is this guy?). He thinks the Nicole Miller dress is super plain and would be appropriate if we were having a beach wedding. Let me point out it is an $1800 dress. I told him he only thought that because there was a beach in the picture.

I got over my annoyance and decided that it was a BLESSING that he wasn't in love with either of the dresses I was. I didn't need to be buying a designer dress! Way to expensive! I would end up trying to find the same dress cheaper which would be a ton of work and... bleck.

So I showed him this little cutie from David's Bridal:
$249. Casual. Would work for a Country wedding. I could show off some super cute shoes. He of course hated it. When will I learn to just not try to be a people pleaser? I guess I should be glad we aren't officially engaged yet and not actually planning things. Because apparently he is picturing a QuinceaƱera.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas meme

Welcome to the Christmas edition of getting to know your friends! I keep seeing this floating around, and this morning Dixie had posted it, so I caved and decided to join the fun:)


1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper. I worked at Hallmark for a few years so I LOVE to wrap and get all Martha Stewart about the embellishments:)

2. Real or artificial tree? Fake. I can't handle pine needles all over my floor, and the fake ones are so symmetrical and last so long. I do love the smell of fresh cut pine though!

3. When do you put up the tree? Early. Usually before Halloween. This year we held off until a week before Thanksgiving because we were so busy.

4. When do you take the tree down? Usually the weekend after the New Year. I'm ready for it to go away by then.

5. Do you like eggnog? Noooooooo. Bleck!

6. Favorite gift received as a child? A 3 disc CD player when I was 13 along with a Counting Crows CD. I wanted it REALLY bad!!! Then I listened to music so much I wore it out, right before Christmas the next year so my mom returned it and added some money and I got an upgrade. The same thing next year and I got upgraded to a Sony that I still had until a few months ago.

7. Do you have a nativity scene? Nope. I'm really picky about them... I've hinted for 3 years now to Jerad that I want the Willow Tree one, but apparently I'm not hinting hard enough. Or he saw how much it cost and flipped. You can buy one or two pieces at a time though and add to it over the years. JERAD: you can start here and there are 16 new and used starting at $47.69! I'm not going to hold my breath:)

8. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Normally I would say that "its the thought that counts" blah blah blah... but once I got an engraved jewelry box that had my name SPELLED WRONG. From a family member no less. So, that was pretty crappy.

9. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail. Even though its expensive and a hassle. I love receiving them in the mail too and I save them. This year I bought some really cute cards, but then decided that we are going to make all of ours which turns out is about 3 times as expensive, but they are CUTE!

10. Favorite Christmas Movie? Elf and A Christmas Story.

11. When do you start shopping for Christmas? All throughout the year I buy things that I think ppl will like and set them aside. Then fill in the gaps in November and December. Except for the one year that my life was super crazed crapfest and I did ALL of my shopping Christmas Eve. I do not recommend that approach.

12. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? I don't really like "Christmas food" I like the appetizers. Spinach dip, bread, cheese, olives, veggies, fruit. I like to load up on that and then I could care less about the dinner.

13. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear...always!

14. Favorite Christmas song? I don't have a favorite per se... there are a few albums I like. I love the Brad Paisley one.

15. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home then leave the day after to go snow camping in Yosemite. I'm not sure if we'll be doing that this year since we are going to AZ a few days after. Hopefully we'll go in January!

16. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Well, I tried to do it in my head, and the first one was "Cuban" so I'm guessing not... according to Dixie I'm un-American:) Oh geeze, I tried again and the second was "Cancer!" Where did I come from? To be fair, my parents never read us that poem... maybe THEY are un-Americans!

17. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star. First, I love stars. Secondly, would you want a tree up your dress for weeks at a time? Ya, didn't think so...


18. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning? Christmas morning. But not by my choosing... I would do it weeks before. I hate waiting! I think last year Jerad "let" me open ours on Christmas eve because we were spending that night at my parents and were going to wake up there Christmas morning. If he makes me wait until morning, I wake him up at like 5 or 6. I'm such a child.

19. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Crowds at the stores. And grumpy people. Get with the spirit already! And wanting to be able to buy everything for everyone but having to be realistic.

20. Do you decorate your tree in any specific theme or color? Always. It used to be blue and teal and silver and white, but last year I did a maroon and rustic theme and added to it this year.

21. What do you leave for Santa? Nothing. We don't have kids and our dogs wouldn't get it and just be pissed that we were leaving treats laying around on plates.

22. Least favorite holiday song? Okay, don't shoot me... cause this makes Jerad mad. I like these songs for CAROLING or SINGING, but I do not like hearing on the radio or Christmas CD's all of the classics like: Silent Night, Deck the Halls, Oh Holy Night. All of those. ESPECIALLY when the artist tries to make them unique. Ugh, leave them alone, and leave them off of your CD and just let us Carol them in peace.

23. Favorite ornament? Addy got me a really pretty hand-blown blue glass one.

There you have it...23 fun things about me regarding the holidays. Feel free to take this meme and make it your own. Just leave me a comment so I can come over and check out your answers!

Monday, December 1, 2008

I'm Thankful for...

... the 4.5 days I just had off!!

Thanksgiving was great. I made whole-grain, organic stuffing (or I guess technically it was "dressing" as I was schooled on later), cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and a few pies. I'll share the recipes later. I came up with a great system of prep work the day before and using my Croc Pot that really made everything stress free. I also made organic apple and pecan pies. For the pecan I tried a new recipe that used no corn syrup, and substituted sucanat for the brown sugar and turbinado for the table sugar. For that particular pie I made a whole wheat crust and marbled in organic cocoa powder.

Personally, I don't like pecan pies, mostly because they are so flippin' sweet. I took a bite and it was pretty yummy. I made two and the second one I tweaked the recipe and added more milk, less sucanat, and more turbinado and that one tasted better. But they were both good.

For the apple pie, I tried a new recipe where you slice all of the apples, lattice the crust, and then melt the butter, sugars, and milk in a sauce pan into a syrup and then pour it over the crust.

I also made the crust for this one, but not whole wheat. I thought it would be to "heavy" since there are two crusts on an apple pie. I also used turbinado and sucanat for the sugars, and my special concoction of spices that I always use for apple pies. The flavor turned out great, BUT I decided that I wanted to mix 1/2 of the syrup in with the apples and pour the other 1/2 on top.

It cooled while I was latticing the crust, and wouldn't remelt the same. So, the top had more of a "crumble" on it than the syrup it should have, but it still tasted yummo.

Wednesday night while the first batches of pies and cranberry sauce were cooling, Jerad whisked me away to the movies to see:

Yes these are corny, but puh-lease, Jason Statham? Mmmmmm
There is all of the great high speed chases
And he always takes his shirt off. Eye-candy.
We had Thanksgiving dinner with my family and grandparents and it went really really well.


After that, Jerad and I headed over to his family's celebration in time for some dessert and visiting. We ended up being there until after 11:00pm :) Whenever we are hanging out with family and friends we take the "divide and conquer" approach instead of staying joined at the hip. That way I don't end up sitting with the men listening to hours of sports talk or something like that, and he doesn't sit through craft and birth stories. Not that that is all we talk about by any means:)

While I was talking with his mom Lucy and aunt Pam, we were looking at the Black Friday ads, and they had a Cricut Create going on sale for 50% off. I had never heard about them before. I won't bore you about the details, but it turns out they are freakin amazing. Instead of printing, they cut!!! Intricate designs, letters, shapes, whatever. You can change the size from .25" to 11.5". Pretty much a scrapbooker's dream.

You could tell that Lucy reeeaaaaalllly wanted one.

When we got home that night I explained all about them to Jerad, and how excited his mom had been, and how they were going to be on sale the next day. He got really excited and said that we should buy her one for Her birthday and Christmas which are just a few days apart.

Friday he worked at a side job, and then we hit Michaels before they closed and it had died down a bit. When we were there he spent like an hour picking out what printing cartridge he wanted to Lucy to go with her new Cricut. It was so cute. THEN, he was like, "this would be really great for you since you scrapbook and make cards..." and I said something about "yes it would, I'm sure your mom will share."

But, since he is such a sweety-petey, he bought me my own. I was VERY stoked. He said it would be a Christmas present, but then ended up giving it to me early so I could have it to work on cards and scrapbooks before Christmas.

That night we went to his parents house and gave his mom hers early too and she was so happy she cried actual tears. Very sweet:) And she thanked us by feeding us a 2nd Thanksgiving dinner that she had just made since she missed out cooking the 1st one. Niiiiice.

Saturday I had breakfast and saw Twilight with Tina who was visiting. For the second time. It was a lot better the second time.

And I got to stare at Edward for ANOTHER two hours, score!!!

Take me. Please.

While Tina and I were off having girl-time, Jerad had breakfast with Ken, and then wandered around Paso and bought me some bling randomly from a jewelry store going out of business:
It looks like that, except the bigger star is blue sapphires. LOVE it! When he gave it to me, I gave it back and told him to wait until our anniversary since it was beautiful, had stars, and shiny. He could save himself some shopping.

Apparently he wouldn't do it sine I'm wearing it right now:)

Since wehadn't seen enough movies lately (ha!), that night Jerad, Tina and I all went and saw:

which was really cute. Then we all went to dinner and Jerad sat through an hour or so of Tina and I talking about wanting babies and to get married. He's used to that and was just happy to have ribs for dinner which he never gets at home.

From there we all went back to our house where I had another engagement announcement from a friend. That puts the total up to 12 friends engaged within the past 11 months. Sheesh!!! I'm excited though, I've known this friend literally since she was born and her finance seems like a great guy. Speaking of weddings, Tina and I talked about her wedding which looks like it is going to be a lot sooner than we were thinking. Yeay!!!! I love weddings. LOVE WEDDINGS. And I will be attending a ton next year, starting Jan. 4th with Chelsea! Lots of weddings means lots of bridal showers and bachelorette parties.

Since I'm Tina's MOH, I get to throw hers. It has to be perfect. I did their engagement party a few months ago, and can't wait for a bachelorette!!! We have been best friends since 3rd grade. I love her, I love the guy she's marrying, I am soo sooo SOOO excited and now instead of being years off, it looks like it could be just a few months away!!!

Sunday, I woke up with the head cold that has been floating around my job for the past few weeks. BLAH! We kind of took it easy, worked on our Christmas decorations in the kitchen, and Jerad did the lights outside.

Tina called me to let me know that she had received a call that Tom was in the hospital with a throat obstruction and could barely breathe and couldn't keep anything down so she raced back to San Fransisco. Scary!

Sunday night we made stuffed shells, sourdough dough bread, and a greek salad for dinner. YUM-O!

And then it was back to work on Monday :( Its okay though, this is the only full work week I have all month. Next week, 3.5 days, the next week 2 days, and then I'm off for 25 days. Basically I "work" 9.5 days this month, and then don't come back till Jan 6th. And, it will all be paid. Because I love my life!

Also, 11 days from now, I will be in New York. I should probably make sure I have clothes for that...

Since I'll have so much free time this month, let the Christmas Crafting begin! I'm going to hand-make a bunch of Christmas gifts plus I am making Jerad and my mom each a scrapbook. Hopefully it won't be so tedious now that I have my own Cricut! Next Sunday Jerad's mom and I are getting together for a scrap booking session. That means I have less than a week to pick out what pictures I am going to use. Not. Easy.