30 December 2011

2011 blanks!

1.   new years is  totally overated, but a clean slate. a chance to do things over - or try again.

2.   one of my new year's resolutions will be  i don't do new year's resolutions. i do these things called 'balanced goals & objectives' that i'll post more on later.  but one of them is going to be to finish school with all a's & b's!

3.  a new year's resolution i've made in the past was to  work out. doesn't everyone do that? it lasted like two months.

4. the most time consuming resolution i ever made was  see above.

5.  this year i will be spending new year's eve  sipping champagne on my couch while watching the twilight zone marathon with philip. love it.

6.  if i could wish one thing for my new year it would be  to finally be done with school.

7.  2012 is going to be  there's no use in making predictions - the way i thought 2011 was going to go was the complete opposite of how it went. so i can't wait to see the surprises and start our new year adventure :)

21 December 2011

high high #12

what a day for christmas spirit.

it started out great, with secret santas at work - yay!  i got my whole staff custom mugs with the pictures on them, which everyone seemed to really enjoy.  we were really all in the holiday spirit, and to top it off - winter storm warning for denver!  we are getting dumped on right now and should see about 8-10 inches before it lets up tomorrow afternoon.  SO, unexpected snow day for me tomorrow, which means my christmas vacation starts half a day early - RIGHT NOW!  whooo!

but then the day took a turn for the worst...  when i hear customers of mine who have fallen on hard times, i want to help them.  and in my line of work, that's not always possible.  i have made a solemn vow (to myself) to never be the woman who cries at work, so i held it in all day long until philip picked me up.

we were on our way home when philip reminded me that mom was doing a gift exchange with a single mother of three who we 'adopted' in our community this year.  philip and i bought toys for the kids while mom bought clothes for the whole family.  she was meeting the woman for  coffee and to give her the gifts.  we thought it might lift my spirits to go - so we went.  and WOW.  what a wonderful reminder of how blessed i am.  the mother  cried when we gave her the gift cards for groceries, and of course the rest of us teared up too.  just to see how grateful someone really was for groceries really put my holiday stress in perspective.

and i realized that while i wasn't able to help people out the way i wanted to at work, i still did something good for a family in need.  and i didn't feel so helpless anymore.  and that, along with the awesome winter storm we are having, was my high high.

friends, let's all remember what this season is really about.  friends, family and sharing what we have.  i hope everyone who reads this is able to pay it forward and do something nice and unexpected for someone who needs it this holiday season.

here's a few pics of the snow - and due to this we are headed up to keystone early!  huzzah!  i'm not sure i'll be blogging while on vacation, so we'll see.

outside tree

running inside! 
and one last thing...

i want to say a very special merry christmas to my pop pop.  he loved this time of year more than anyone else i've ever met in my life.  for the longest time i really believed he was one of santa's elves - he always knew just what i wanted, even when i swore i'd never told anyone (but my letter to santa).  he would be the one up at 5am in line at any store possible to get exactly what his grandkids wanted.  he's been gone for 5 years now, but i still miss him like crazy at christmas.  there's a line from the christmas carol 'wintersong' that always makes me think of him...

and this is how i see you
in the snow on christmas morning
love & happiness surround you
i'll throw my arms up to the sky
and keep this moment by and by
oh i miss you so

what a time to be thankful.

merry christmas to all and to all a good night.


20 December 2011

high high #11

my gift wrapping.  LOVE the paper from ikea and my fancy gift tags.  it's a joy wrapping each gift and i can't wait til everyone sees what i've picked out!

19 December 2011

holiday update 2!

what a whirlwind weekend!  between buying and wrapping presents and planning (and having) our christmas party there has been zero time for blog updates!  but there’s always a bit of time to share photos ;)

after a week of running around like a crazy woman (well, moreso than usual at least), we had a wonderful christmas party saturday night!  the turnout was wonderful, the cocktails were perfect, the food wasn’t too bad (even my experimental spinach-artichoke dip was a hit!) and the company was perfect.  the highlight of the evening was a surprise guest – my brother AJ showed up, having just flown in from boston.  it was a great night with all the people i love around here :)

me & rach
my bestest girlfriends :)
SURPRISE! AJ showed up! 
my adorable husband, the bartender.

decorated tree - in the front yard :)

with the help of my awesome girlfriend W who showed up early, we got the house totally decked out.  we were even able to make sure of the christmas tree from hell, which now looks pretty cute.
so besides all the christmas trimming and shopping, i have spent a lot of time wasting my life away on pinterest (my sister bianca sent me an invite and i can’t stop pinning things!) and paperless post (thanks to the little things we do).  i am still trying to figure out exactly how pinterest works, so i don’t know if i can link to my boards or not but i’ll give it a shot here.  the best one are the baby shower ideas i have for my soon-to-be little niece!  i literally can’t wait until christmas when the cat’s out of the bag and i can blog 24/7 about how excited i am for baby to come :) anyone who knows me knows that i hate and am awful at keeping secrets!!! anyway, back to my holiday card.  last year i totally slacked and didn’t send out a holiday card.  when things started getting busy this year, i decided to do something easy and green by sending a fancy holiday card online.  sometimes online cards look really tacky – but i think the one philip picked out is super cute!  check it out:
the next few days are going to be just as busy – my mother-in-law and sister-in-law & her bf are coming in for christmas.  we are driving up to the mountains on thursday afternoon to spend the holiday snowed in, watching christmas movies and drinking.  now that’s what you call the perfect colorado christmas :)

13 December 2011

holiday update

hi friends!  sorry for the absence… i’ve been out of school (which is sooo wonderful) for nearly two weeks now, but things haven’t slowed down a bit.  i guess that’s just how it is this time of year.  there are just SO many things to update on!  where to start, where to start…

well, i finally have all our decorations up (pics coming soon, i promise!)!  our big annual christmas cocktail bash is saturday night, so we have been working hard all week on getting the house in tip-top shape for all our friends.  as i mentioned before we had to get a fake tree… but it’s actually looking quite lovely. philip was finally able to install this gorgeous exterior light fixture we bought months ago – and it has the perfect holiday look, right in front of the wreath with the snow on it!  i also have a gift-wrapping station set up in the sunroom (but it’s sooo cold since it’s right next to the windows), where we have all the gifts laid out (don’t look too close!).

i wish i could post pics of the upstairs bathroom and show off how it’s totally done.  but you know what?  still not done.  however we are VERY, VERY close… just had one mishap with a cracked pipe that needed replacing.  but since it’s an IKEA part, we had to get it specifically from IKEA, and then they shipped us the wrong one… it’s been a whole big mess.  so we have just one sink out of order.  the rest of the decorations should be done by this weekend, but here’s pretty much the finished product!
i also wish i could tell you the downstairs bathroom has been fixed and is also close to done… but also not the case.  our contractor will be out tomorrow night to check it out and hopefully we’ll start construction next week – there will be LOTS of pictures to come.
so, since we haven’t done much to the house you might ask… what have i been doing to not be updating you all? 

christmas shopping, mostly! i have most people done with a few exceptions… my mom is very hard to buy for this year (would it kill you to drop some hints once in a while, lady?!?).  last weekend we really kicked off the season right, since it was my first school-free weekend!  we treated ourselves to an awesome dinner at our new favorite place (we’ve been dying for a reason to go back after philip’s birthday), followed by the denver ballet’s performance of the nutcracker.  it’s our tradition; we go every year.  it’s so much fun.  sunday we got up for a lovely holiday brunch with the family to hear all about rich & beth’s honeymoon.  then philip and i headed off to one of my favorite stores and then the mall for christmas shopping.  it would be great if i were one of those people who could holiday-shop all year long, but it just doesn’t work like that for me.  besides, we kind of love going to the crowded mall.  they have carolers to make it so much merrier :)

also, i’m going to be an auntie again!!!  the cat isn’t out of the bag yet so that’s all i am going to say for now.  but i can’t even describe how blissfully happy i am… and there will be MUCH more on this to come!!!

i also attended christmas high tea at the brown palace yesterday – something that you usually have to book like a year in advance!  but my husband is amazing, and he called a few weeks ago to see if they had any cancellations, and secured a tea time (haha) for mom and i for yesterday.  it was so lovely – we sipped kir royales, had pots of tea and little sandwiches and cookies.  if you haven’t ever done this before, check it out!  it’s a fun, girlie thing to do with people you love during the holidays. of course it’s also fun during the year, too.

AND (there’s more!) my dad is here this week!  he doesn’t come to visit that often so i get totally stoked when i have the chance to show off our home and our neighborhood to him.  so all evenings this week have been spent hanging with my dad and getting ready for the party rather than blogging, i am [not really] sorry to say.  i hardly ever take pictures at the party – but this year i am determined to change that tradition!

how’s your holiday season going??


05 December 2011

i hate christmas trees.

well, i seem to have survived my first semester of school!  it wasn’t always easy and it wasn’t always fun, but i’m really glad to be back.  and i’m even more glad to have a nice loooong break ahead of me :)
so, i believe i would post some pictures of christmas decorations today, correct?  well, funny story. only at the time it REALLY WASN’T FUNNY…
sunday was my last day of school. we were supposed to get out early as soon as each group’s presentation was done – but that didn’t happen.  the computer system had a complete breakdown, so power point slideshows were out of the question.  luckily everyone in class had brought goodies for a pot luck, so we sat around, ate and talked.  not too bad.  but by the time we finally left it was after 4pm, which is the latest we had ever gotten out of class!  i was hoping to get home in the afternoon and have plenty of time to take my last final, an online exam for my macroeconomics class.  but by the time i got home, i didn’t have enough time for the exam and decorations. so naturally, we decided my exam would wait.
philip & i went out, grabbed dinner, went to the market (i hadn’t grocery shopped since way before thanksgiving – shhhhh!) and then went to pick out our tree.  the first lot didn’t have any good ones, but the second lot had a picture perfect tree. so we strapped her to the roof and drive her home!  philip got out the christmas boxes out of the basement, i put on the carpenter’s christmas portrait (we always listen to it as we decorate!) and we started decking the halls.  we saved the best – the tree – for last. 
well, as it turned out, our tree stand was broken.  of course it took as a good sap-and-profanity-filled half hour to figure this out.  determined to not let this ruin the evening, philip went out and bought another tree stand.  even though it was past my sunday-evening bedtime (8:30pm) we decided to definitely finish the tree before heading to bed.  the new stand was bigger and better (i.e. not broken) than the last, so as soon as we got the tree up we filled the bottom with water and started decorating.  i love taking out ornaments out of their boxes – we have so many cool ones i always forget about from year to year.  once the tree was decorated and the star was on top, we sat down to admire our handiwork. 
but the tree was leaning a bit.  so up we got, again, to adjust the tree.  loosen the screws one way, tighten the other way – philip managed the tree stand as i steadied the frozen trunk, then we switched.  when i knelt down to screw in the tree, i saw a huge puddle – the tree stand was leaking.  so here we were, with a fully decorated tree in its second tree stand of the night which was now leaking.  not cool.  we were a bit unhappy.  our best course of action, we decided, was to pull the tree OUT of the stand, lean it against the wall, and exchange the 2nd crappy tree stand of the night for a new one. 
well, as philip tried to get the stand out the tree tipped over – i had to jump off the couch to catch it.  a bunch of our ornaments fell, some broke.  so when we finally went to bed, around midnight, it was with a half-decorated tree leaning against the wall, pine needles everywhere. 
so, no pics of the tree today friends.  we are buying a fake tree and i will never deal with a real tree again.  but hey, it wouldn’t be the holidays without some tears of frustration and scarring.  the rest of the house looks pretty nice though, if i may say so. can’t wait for you to see it! :)

02 December 2011

holiday blanks!

i know i said i wouldn't blog til after finals, but how could i miss the first holiday fill in the blanks of the season???

1.   the holiday season is  absolutely the best.  philip and i have lists of the movies we are going to watch and all the events we check out.  it's the time of year that philip and i really started our relationship too so it is always a little nostalgic.  it's also a time to spend with family and friends and remember what's really important during all the gift-buying of the year.  plus i giggle like a little girl at all the awesome christmas decorations people have!

2.   snow makes me happy as long as i don't have to drive in it.  but when it's snowing, that 30 minute drive to work isn't my favorite.  but if i'm home, i love it.  snow is so peaceful.

3.  the best comfort food to eat when it's cold out is  i know it isn't food, but hot cocoa obvi.

4. winter is the best time for  cuddling inside with a fire and people you love.

5.  i can hardly wait for  THE CABIN!  this year we are spending christmas up in a cabin in keystone with my mom, my brother and some of philip's family.  we head up a few days before christmas to be snowed in for the holiday :)

6.  when it comes to holiday gifts i prefer to  give, for sure.  i love christmas present shopping or making.  watching someone's face light up when you really put time and effort into their present is the best.  hands down, best gift ever was last year - for christmas, philip & i collected my old home movies on decaying tapes and turned them into DVDs.  but philip edited them with music and effects, and they turned out amazing.  so amazing.   i only got to see my mom open hers - but we put it in a huge box, and then smaller boxes all the way to the unmarked DVD in it's case that said 'play me.'  so she put it on and we all watched it... best gift ever, i think :)

7.  if i were to rate my excitement about the holiday season on a scale from 1-10, i would say i am at about a  after my finals this weekend, i'll be a 9 or 10.  but right now i'm a 6.  just gotta get through school first... 

ok friends, wish me luck... see you late sunday or monday!