What a wonderful weekend celebrating the birth of our Savior! Mike and I had our first Christmas as husband and wife and spent Christmas Eve celebrating just the two of us. We went to church together and it was great to start off the celebrations with the true reason for the season. Not only was it a great reminder of the Christmas story but there was a great message about seeking Christ the way the wise men did – they were “all in.”
After church we came home for some dinner. I think our kitchen hates us. After the cookie fiasco we thought we had had our fill of kitchen mix ups. We were wrong. We put some food in the oven and we’re chatting away listening to some music and what do ya know the oven starts smoking! We open it up to determine the cause and find nothing. Thinking its no big deal we close it back up and it continues to smoke. We opened all our windows and had fans going to pump the smoke out as our dinner cooks. Finally it is done and the smoking stops but it seems like we can’t do anything in that kitchen without something going wrong!
Today we spent the day with my family. It was great to eat my mom’s famous can of coke ham, sip on my favorite mulled cider, and play a nasty game of Up the River. (I won for what seems like the first time ever!) we also had a great time playing with one of my mom’s presents: giant Jenga! What a blast!
Mike and I were pretty bored today so we decided to spend the afternoon listening to some Christmas tunes and baking cookies. It sounds pleasant except for the fact that we are both terrible at baking!
First recipe: Peanut butter cookies with Reese’s in the middle. We got halfway through the recipe when we realized we didn’t have a mini muffin tin. We decided we could improvise and only ended up throwing out/playing with one batch before we came up with something edible.
Next up we wanted to make some spritz cookies, (the Whitts call them 123s) with the cookie press we got for our wedding. We prepped the dough and put it in the fridge (according to the directions).
After an hour in the fridge it was time for the cookie press. We decided to start with some green trees. Bad news. The dough was so hard it wouldn’t go through the press! Oooops! Mile squeezed the press with all his might and we ended up with about 2 dozen cookies from a recipe that should make 3 dozen. To top it off we burned the first dozen so after all that work we ended up with about 12 spritz cookies and 12 peanut butter cookies. Ugh! By the end we were so frustrated that neither of us even wanted to look at the cookies!
Oh well… It was a fun afternoon laughing hysterically at our inadequate cookies! Time well spent!
Last night Mike and I went for a drive to check out some Christmas lights. We made several observations including: blue light give us headaches, flashing lights have to annoy the neighbors, and most importantly, less is more.
Here’s an example of something more our style.
One caveat… Less is more unless your “less” includes a giant peace sign or inflatable sponge bob.
What are your thoughts on Christmas yard decorations?
So last night Mike and I went to the grocery store around 6. While we were there I got incredibly tired. I have no idea why! I was walking around like a zombie just watching Mike pick out cereal. Exciting side note: Lucky Charms were cheaper than the generic Marshmallow Mateys! Score!
Anyway after groceries and dinner it was about 7:30 and I was still exhausted… Mike jokingly guessed I would be asleep by 8. At 7:55 he looked over and I was fast asleep- and this wasn’t just a catnap. It was bedtime. I did wake up around 11 for a quick bowl of those Lucky Charms but after that I was snoozing until 9 am this morning when Mike literally picked me up out of bed. I could have slept at least a few more hours. I have no idea why I was so tired but I feel quite rested today! That’s what 100 hours of sleep will do for ya! I promised Mike I wouldn’t make it a habit and what do ya know- its 9:20 and I’m still awake!
so I had this all typed up in one nice post and it didn’t work out…. so I’m posting the second part of the post here!
Saturday morning we volunteered at The Spot Christmas Store. Our church collected donated gifts which were sold at the Christmas Store. Parents of the students who attend The Spot were invited to buy gifts for their kids at a 90% discount. There were over 60 families who came to buy presents! We were there from 7-11am and the time flew by! Mike and I had the roles of “personal shopping assistants.” Our job was to help the families pick out presents for their kids. Some of them knew exactly what they wanted and others relied on our advice. I’m pretty sure I heard Mike recommending a Barbie Doll. 🙂 It was a great experience helping these families in an environment that was focused on how God provides for all of us in so many ways.
Today we celebrated Christmas with the Dunn family in Iowa City! It was great to see everyone – especially uncles from Los Angeles and Des Moines who we don’t get to see often. The Christmas celebrations have begun!
So it’s been awhile since I’ve written. Oops. The good news is that I have some good stuff to share! First of all, Mike and I celebrated our 6 month anniversary on Monday! We decided to make ourselves dinner and just hang out at home. The menu included a raspberry walnut salad, bacon wrapped sirloin, homemade scalloped potatoes, green beans, and chocolate chip cookies. Yum!
Wednesday and Thursday were spent driving around the state of Iowa. We visited Kristin, Sam, and Aurora in Traer, my Grandma Lucy in Independence, and my Grandma Ida in Waterloo. Visiting everyone was great – and Mike and I got to spend lots of quality time in the car. One of the quality conversations started because of the banana peel pictured below.
Mike usually eats about this much of his banana so I was holding the remnants. There happened to be a police car in front of us and we thought it would be funny to throw the banana peel in front of the police car causing it to spin out like in Mariocart. While discussing targets for our banana peel we began to think further about banana peels. I am skeptical that bananas peels are actually slippery while Mike is convinced that you would slip if you stepped on a banana peel. The conversation was quite detailed including the surface that would be necessary for the peel to slip and the age of the peel. We’re planning an investigation – I’ll let you know what we conclude. (Yes, this is how we plan to spend our break.) Let me know if you have any thoughts on this.
Thursday I entered the world of smart phones! I decided it was time for an iPhone! I’m still learning so if you get a call/message/facetime request that wasn’t meant for you… I’m sorry! I’ve spent lots of this “busy week” downloading new apps. I’m hooked on Words With Friends and even found an app to help with my latest knitting project! Anyone have any app suggestions?
Friday was graduation from the College of Education! Wahoo we’re done! The Whitts and Dunns were in town and we all had a delicious dinner together!
Most nights before we go to bed we watch Conan. So for the last couple nights as we’ve been watching Conan there has been a very convincing Twix commercial that comes on. In fact, it comes on at exactly the same time every night! For the last 4 nights we have noticed the same Twix commercial at exactly 10:50pm! Naturally, upon seeing this commercial I immediately want to get a Twix bar. The problem is that it’s 10:50pm and I’m wearing my pajamas. So each night I vowed to get a Twix the next day. But throughout my slumber I would forget about the Twix commercial and not think about it until the next night at exactly 10:50 when I would see the commercial again.
Until last night! After a long day of finalizing portfolios, and an intense game of racquetball, we decided to go out and get a snack – a Twix bar! Four agonizing nights of Twix cravings finally came to an end.