Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

...or so the weather peeps have been predicting for tomorrow nite!  Quite the wintery storm pelted the West last nite/this morning (Boulder was featured on The Today Show!!) and it is headed our direction.  Rain is expected first, then as the temps drop, snow....however, the scary part is the freezing of the wet roads ruing the transition from one form of precipitation to the next.  This is our first winter storm of the season and, so, there hasn't yet been any salt or other chemicals laid down to, at least, melt some of the ice as it is forming.  This makes for treacherous driving conditons, i.e. black ice.  And it will be dark!!!  I have to admit, I am a bit scared for my drive home from the gym tomorrow nite....and the drive up Ski Hill Road!!!

That said, I still have a few more things to get for our party Saturday and I am saving them for an errand run on Friday's lunch break.  I need to run to Costco tonite to grab a gift card for Chris's parents, which I will do btwn work and the gym.  I also have a couple items I want to snag at CVS, which I will get on today's lunch break!

I hope to find a Yule Log cake on Friday's grocery run, too.  I want to have a little celebration at home.  Don't know about a bonfire b/c all the wood is going to be wet, but we can sit in front of the electric fireplace!!! 

We are both going to be off for 2 weeks after Friday!  Yippee!  I must get a haircut next week, before we leave on vacation!  Other than that and Christmas dinner at my aunt's, we have no set plans.  We hope to meet up with the Stephenses and I will wait to see if our oldest niece contacts us to go out for drinks.  I will hit the gym, Chris will probably run, I would love to make some trips to the beach and we will need to do laundry and pack!!!  It's gonna fly by!  I plan to enjoy every moment!!! 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Little of This, Dash of That

Spent another mostly relaxing weekend at home!  And loved it!!!

We had several plans for Saturday; however, we only kept one!  Well, the last one wasn't our doing...or, rather, undoing.  Our plan was 1) meet the Shoafs for lunch, 2) attend another Christmas concert at VU and 3) meet the Phelpses for drinks.

We met our friends, Beth & Paul, for a late lunch/early dinner at Blackbird Cafe in downtown Valpo.  Haven't seen them since my birthday party and, really, let's be honest, I didn't get much time to chat with everyone that nite.  We were planning to leave at 4:30 to get good seats in the VU chapel.  Before we knew it, it was 5, the time the concert was to begin!!!  We were having such a good time, we really didn't mind missing it.  We chatted until 6:30!  

During this time, I checked my phone to discover a text from Adam saying they had to cancel because he was very ill.  Disappointing, as they live several hours south of us, so we don't have many opportunities to see one another.  Maybe we will make another Bloomington trip and swing by Bedford and Ghostwood Farm next summer!

We also put up (more) window plastic to keep out the chill.  We are deciding which, if any, other windows will get the treatment for the winter.  It definitely makes a difference in the NIPSCO bill, as we did this at our old house.  

Chris took his first hot yoga class Sunday morning (I bought him a 15-class deal from Groupon).  I thought about hitting the gym, but decided to stay home to clean and to bake my cookies for our party this Saturday.  (This is the first time I have frozen cookies for a party...fingers crossed they taste just as good as yesterday.)  

The rest of the day was filled with cooking lunch and dinner, watching Christmas shows and other random things.  I wanted to walk to the beach this weekend b/c I haven't been there since the last full moon, but I didn't do a good job of keeping that on my To Do list!  If we are fortunate, our weather will be mild next week and I can make it several times to make up for my laziness!

Picked up many of the items for Saturday; only a couple more things to go.  I also decided to make a Pumpkin-Cranberry-Walnut bread, which I will put in the oven about an hour before the party is to begin ~~ for the delicious smell to linger and greet our guests!

Another week of workouts is in line, beginning with boxing class tonite.  I doubled up last Thursday for the first time in quite awhile: did the 5:15 boxing class followed by the circuit.  Awesome!!!!  Would love to make it all 5 days this week and there really isn't anything stopping me (besides myself).  Gotta wear more of my crazy socks from The Sox Box!  Already wore my pink "Yay" "Burpees" and my black "Beauty" "Beast" which leaves my green "Yay" "Burpees" and purple "Barbell" "Babe" to coordinate!  Workouts should be fun and productive!!!

Wishing I was going to see my mom, sisters, nieces, grandparents, brother and nephews this holiday season, but that is a fact of life...they live in Florida and we don't! 

Looking forward to our Vegas vacation!  The pet sitter is meeting with Chris tonite!!!  I have been working on my packing list, planning to wear things that layer.  I reserved our airport parking at Park/Ride/Fly.  We have to decide if we want to pay for the New Year's party at "old" Vegas ~~ I think we should b/c we aren't club people and, besides, the clubs all cost tons o'money for NYE!  We also have to plan tix to the Neon Museum.  We are going to hike the Red Rocks, which will require a rental car for a day or two, but we are going to work on that after we get there.  We don't want to be all planned up and not have time to decompress or just go with wherever the day takes us, ya know?  And since our timeshare resort is off the strip, we will be taking taxis, in additon to the airport runs.   The resort offers a shuttle to the Mirage, but only from 10A-11:30P.  Really, it's Vegas, for goodness sake ~~ the city is 24/7!  We will have to get a taxi to take us to MGM (where the UFC event will be in full swing) and after we try to celebrity-spot and walk the Strip awhile, plus after the NYE festivities!  And, I suppose, to and from the car rental spot.  But, we haven't been to Sin City in almost 7 years and we are celebrating both our 20-year anniversary and the New Year, so we are going to just go with it!! 

Hard to believe it is one week until Christmas Eve....

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


A very magical day today: December 12, 2012! 

The next time the trice repeat comes around is January 1, 2101  ~ something I will not be around to experience.

Chris & I attended my (formerly our) gym's first holiday party last Saturday.  Had a very good time!  Food was provided, some members brought baked goods and some sides, beer, soft drinks & water were also provided and we were encouraged to bring anything else we wanted to drink.  That said, Chris brought his own 6-pack of Mike's Margaritas to which he added extra tequila (yep ~ he brought in a big ass bottle of cheap tequila....hilarious!).  The UFC had fights that nite, too, but they were almost incidental background noise.  Members and guests were eating, drinking, chatting and making merry!  

We are working on our own first holiday party, the 22nd.  We did a very small invite list for a "Merry Meet & Merrier Part" cocktail party.  Since we have the place decked out for the holidays, we thought it would be a good time to invite over friends who want to see our temporary pad.  We also invited the neighbors, Ken & Curt. 

The fare:
2 spreadable cheeses for crackers
Celery & carrots with hummus
Pretzels (also for the hummus)
Olives & gherkins
Deli turkey & ham
Hard cheeses
Oatmeal, cranberry, chocolate chip cookies
Apple slices with caramel sauce
Pretzels with chocolate sea salt sauce
Maybe some mixed nuts

Ginger ale & some other pop
Variety of wines
Spirits (vodka, rum, tequila)
Apple Cider bourbon (that can be warmed)
Pumpkin Pie liquor

And, if the weather cooperates, we might start up a bonfire.  I will make hot chocolate, if so, and Chris brought home a sleeve of small Starbucks to-go cups with lids that I can fill to serve.  I will use my pumpkin marshmallows to garnish!!!

We have the music on the mini-MAC that Chris has connected to the TV, where he has also uploaded lots of Christmas images to cycle thru as the screensaver.

I thought I would also bring down the board games I put in the loft, just in it makes a cute table decoration. 

The last touch will be simmering an orange, an apple, some cinnamon sticks and cloves on the stove for the warm & cozy scent (note to self: remember to keep checking the water level!!!). 

The lighting will be enhanced by all of the lit garland, the Christmas tree, the string of lights in the 3-seasons room (maybe the fireplace out there) and the hanging stars above the couch. 

It should be festive & friendly...just something casual where people can meet and mingle while toasting Kris Kringle! 


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Living Sincerely

In honor (or perhaps in memory, tho I sincerely hope not) of Vanessa Tiemier.  I am sharing this from a friend's blog ~ thanx, Kari Voorhees, herself a breast cancer survivor!!!  I will do my best to remember this everyday.

I will live sincerely.

I will learn from each person and each day on my journey
and will share ideas and wisdom from my own experiences.

With a grateful spirit, I will acknowledge my need for others  and will in turn be loving and generous,
remembering that every member of a community plays a unique role.

I will remain strong in my convictions
while keeping an open mind to perspectives beyond myself.

Courageously, I will respect each movement of my heart,
through fear and joy, grief and peace.

I will cultivate my passions with delight
and also take time for honest introspection.

I will love the person I am today
while constantly striving towards my best self.

I will keep a healthy balance between the rewards of discipline  and the growth and wonder that spontaneity brings.

I will acknowledge both the marvel and the limitations of my body  and respectfully take care of it the best I can.

Accepting the reality that there are circumstances I cannot change,  I will seize my power to actively change that which I can control  with hope and creativity.

I commit to living each chapter of my story:
honoring the lessons and gifts of my past,
fully participating in the fleeting beauty of the present,
and bravely walking towards the unknowns of my future.

Knowing that life is an enduring but glorious struggle,
I pledge to live each day with purpose.

I will live sincerely.

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