Saturday, December 31, 2011

Kansas City, here we come!

On December 23, Justin and I flew out to Kansas City to be with my family for the actual holidays.

The trip started off on a good note as we had packed our bags just perfectly, exactly the limit- 50 pounds. Of COURSE we meant to do that.

After dinner with my family and my cousin Patrick, we played a few games and then crashed. We got up on Christmas Eve ready to work out. Fail. The gym wouldn't let us in. Boo hoo as it is always a hilarious experience to workout at a gym in the midwest. We figured we'd try again in a few days and just go on a run on Christmas eve since it was mid-50s and sunny. It was GREAT weather for a run, even though we went pretty far and were both pretty sore, surprisingly. I think the flatness makes the runs go longer than we are used to.

On Christmas eve night, after going to the Christmas eve service, we pulled out the ole monopoly game. Not my favorite but I always say I will play once a year. This was my one time. I actually ended up winning although towards the end, Justin took over for me because I was over it.

We also dug out old pictures circa about 1984. Pretty cute.

The next morning, Christmas day, Justin and I got up to make the typical Christmas day breakfast- quiche and blueberry coffee cake.

Don't be scared of our morning picture. Yikes. Sadly, in a few years we will think how young we looked in this picture.

The quiches ready to go... one was cheese and meat, one was veggie.

Something weird happened with the crust- it exploded! Oh well, it still tasted good.

Another angle of the exploding crust.

A while after breakfast we all gathered to open presents. Above: my brother Jon.

And my grandma, eating her breakfast.

A picture of the "kids."

My, we definitely are getting older...

And Justin and I. First Christmas as a married couple. Aww.

One more shot of my brother and I sitting by the tree. It was a lot harder to get down there than it used to be as a kid!

Justin and I with our loot, pre-opening. We really must have been pretty good this year. Santa really liked us even in Missouri.

Perhaps his favorite present- gummy bears. I am a good wife to support this habit (addiction?) of his.

Later that night my aunt, uncle and cousin Patrick came over (they moved back to Kansas from California in April). After Christmas dinner,  played ping pong for about 3 was quite fun.

My brother and uncle.

The day after Christmas, we all took off for Lamoni, Iowa for Christmas with my dad's side of the family. Here is Justin getting ready for the car ride (and playing on the new phone I got him and gave to him at his family's Christmas).

We also celebrated my dad's birthday up there (it's on the 27th). It was quite an eventful day in Lamoni as my cousin's 2 year old son woke up from a nap with a very high temperature and started siezing. One thing about living in small town Iowa: my uncle is the parmacist and the doctor lives 2 doors down so they were able to quickly treat Connor and diagnose him with strep throat. Unfortunately later that night he had another siezure after we left and my cousin and her husband had to spend the night in the hospital. Bummer (of course, he is all better now).

Meanwhile, we played more ping pong with my dad's family...

My mom and I... we were out of the game for the moment, apparently.

Action shot of Justin and I!

The following few days Justin and I just hung out in Kansas City. We were able to weasel our way into the gym (thank god because I REALLY wanted to amuse myself by watching someone attempt to run on the treadmill in cowboy boots and carharts!), we walked in the 60 degree days (so weird, but gorgeous!), we visited my aunt and uncle at their house in Kansas, we saw some college friends, we watched KU with my parents, we went shopping and we just relaxed and spent time with family and friends. It was a great week and a very successful Christmas #2!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Valente family Christmas, take #2

This year for the Valente family Christmas, we went away for a long weekend to Suncadia. For those who don't know what Suncadia is, it's a little pre-planned community just on the east side of the mountains.  Justin's mom had rented a cabin there from Friday-Monday. And by "cabin" you should know that we are talking about 8000 feet of "cabin." It was HUGE.

Justin and I arrived at around 4pm on Friday with a truckload of stuff that his mom had us bring for her. We unloaded and then walked in to the above. We realized immediately: we are stocked. (notice the plus-magnum bottle of wine. We got the same one last one for the Valente family Christmas from our winery, Woodhouse). We may have punished that bottle on Friday night. Maybe.

Saturday, the 17th, was officially deemed "Christmas" so Friday night Santa came. I guess Jocelyn was Mrs. Claus or just a helper?

And one more shot of the gifts from Santa being delivered.

Justin and I were responsible for breakfast on Saturday morning (Christmas). We made pancakes, bacon, eggs, and sausage. We also had some fruit. It was quite tasty. After breakfast we spent about 3 hours opening gifts. It was quite the long haul! Santa was very nice this year. I surprised Justin and Bailey with new phones so that was fun.

That evening was a mexican fiesta planned by Jocelyn and her friend, Becky, who had come for the weekend. It was a good time. Bailey and Oliver both brought 2 friends so we also had 6 teenage boys with us. Luckily they had their own "man cave" downstairs that included pool, darts, TV, and golf simulator. We pretty much didn't see them all weekend.

The following day was filled with more R&R complete with a walk that Justin and I took. It was beautiful out, though a little cold. See more pictures, below:

Following dinner and more games Sunday night, we all were up early on Monday morning to head out and back home. It was a great weekend full of laughter and family and friends... after that, it was onto Christmas #2 in Kansas City!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Random December things...

In the midst of our holiday parties in December, we were able to get out and about as well. And, Seattle being Seattle, the weather was actually decent. It was cold but totally sunny. Weird, but we'll take it.

A shot of Seattle during one December walk.

Justin looking through binoculars at the city skyline.

Justin again.... look at that sun! Crazy!

And, one more... I swear, when it's sunny in Seattle it's just the best. Even if it is about zero degrees outside

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Holiday parties 2011

We had a couple of holiday parties in December, of course, it's the month that means: party party party. The first holiday party we went to was by far the most fun:  the December WINOS party. A bunch of girls that I know do monthly wine nights (called WINOS) and in December we decided the wine of the month would be champagne and we would dress up and invite our boys. It was a great event!
See Stacie's recap of the night, too, as well as her pictures below:
All of us, including boys...picture taken by our (literally high as a kite/stoned out of her mind) caterer.

And the beautiful ladies!

The day following the WINOS party, we headed down to Puyallup to help Justin's mom celebrate her 65th birthday. This was so fun as we got to meet so many friends of Jocelyn's as well as several people who knew Justin when he was just a little kid. I slacked with the camera at this party too. Bummer.

The second holiday party we went to was my work holiday party in Bellevue. Nothing really notable from this event other than it was just one of those things we had to go to. We didn't even take any pictures...again. Perhaps this needs to be a 2012 resolution? (Even though if you know me, you know how I am about resolutions...)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The thanksgiving that almost wasn't.

I can't believe I forgot to post about this in my Thanksgiving post. As I was going through my phone, I stumbled across the photos and was all, OH RIIIGHT. THAT.

To preface: I have always been one to try to hop on the healthy bandwagon. You know the whole eliminating "crap" thing... eating well, not eating the fake stuff (like trans fats), trying to use products that don't have a lot of fake stuff- from laundry detergent to deodorant, to cleaning products.

I hadn't really given much thought to candles until the day before thanksgiving when my brother and I were in whole foods and I realized that I did need candles to burn in the bathroom on Thanksgiving. Need might not be the appropriate word but I wanted candles to burn in the bathroom. I like having candles burning. They (generally) smell good.

I saw these cute little candles in the aisles of whole foods and thought, "Hmm. "Natural" candles and they match the color scheme AND they smell good." SOLD.

The next day, I lit them around 1pm and sometime around 2:30 pm or so, I just happened to be going pee when all of a sudden "WHOOOOSH crackle crackle WHOOOSH" I look over and I.KID.YOU.NOT there was about an 1 foot flame coming out of one of these "cute" natural candles that was threatening to take over the hand towel directly above it. (And also, REALLY? After only an hour and a half MAYBE two hours of being lit??)

I did not know I was capable of stopping a stream of pee so efficiently. Perhaps being scared shitless does that to you.

Related: I have a weird phobia of fire. Always have. Used to have nightmares about fire and burning down houses. Weird as I have never been in a fire but something has always left me traumatized and fearful of being in a fire.

So: being scared shitless because you have a fear of burning down a house someday makes you able to stop peeing abruptly when you really had to pee.

I screamed, splashed water all over the erupting candle, and Justin came running in to his crazy wife freaking out with her pants around her ankles, pee still in the toilet, and flailing water all over. Until he saw the candle and he was all, "Holy SHIT what happened?" It ended up, thankfully, being quite the funny situation. He probably should have taken a picture of me... but, clearly, it was too chaotic at the moment to think about that (also, sidenote: when something crazy or bad or unreal happens, how DO people think, "Man, I should snap a shot right now?" The twin towers is a good example. I would have just been freaking the EFF OUT but many people took pictures that day... Perhaps why I am not a photographer).

I still have no idea what happened with our little candle that blew. The other candle did not blow up but I did light it at a later date to find out that the glass gets REALLY hot so it probably would have eventually.

Lessons learned: 1) Thank god I had to pee when I did and 2) Don't buy natural candles, specifically the Pacifica brand and 3) I definitely still have a fire phobia and 4) If ever in crisis on a toilet, I will be able to maintain control of my bladder (good to know?)

Photos for evidence: