Monday, December 28, 2009


Well, Christmas has come and gone once again. As we all tend to say, "Can you believe it is almost January?!". I for one cannot. But, this was a Christmas of firsts for us. Most importantly, our first Christmas with a wee one as part of the extended family. Baby Marek (or as I like to call him BH aka "Baby Heather") is the first baby on either sides of our families and we thoroughly enjoyed doting over his every smile and coo- which were quite a few actually. I am certainly hoping that our future children will have the same cheery disposition. But, with 1/2 of my DNA I seriously doubt it. I wouldn't describe myself as "cheery". Here's to hoping that Kyle's DNA will win through on that one!

We got to spend the entire week in Spokane and mostly relaxed and hung out with family and friends. We were really excited to get to spend time with some of Kyle's good friends from U of I. On Wednesday, Kyle went skiing for the day (I stayed behind to help Sally unpack her newly moved house) and then we all got to meet up for dinner afterwards. It's so fun to see our old friends and catch up with them.

The gang at dinner

Since Kyle & I weren't around last Christmas, we got to experience a few Christmas traditions for the first time this year. I'm a huge fan of family traditions (Kyle & I have established quite a few of our own- some quite unique i.e.- an unhealthy favoritism towards foul food and inappropriate movies as a birthday celebration- to each his own I say!)

One of the new family traditions for Kyle's family is a ginger bread house building contest. Kyle & I are both surprisingly anal and methodical- so our house won for "best precision". It was a beaut if you ask me. All of our rows even had color patterns- can it get any better than that? Edible organization....stop my beating heart.
The other houses were quite good too, just not precise. Sally won for "best roof" and Heather and Brandon won for "most candy on a house". So you could say that we were all winners. I however would not. I would say that we were winners, because do pretty roofs and lots of candy beat out precision? You be the judge.

The gingerbread houses (ours if on the left)

H & B creating a masterpiece

Sale family masterpiece

The Christmas reindeer

This year I took it upon myself to become a little more crafty. At Thanksgiving, I had my talented Aunt Liz teach me some new knitting skills and I turned out this scarf for Heather as part of her Christmas gift. She was surprised at my knitting skills and to her credit- so was I! I got some knitting needles as one of my Christmas gifts, so this 28 year old granny is going to be getting her knit on! Watch me go!

My scarf- not bad!

It was a fun week, but Deacon & Mercedes were pretty happy to have us back. They keep following us around the house- possibly out of fear, possibly out of boredom? But either way, I think they're glad to back with the fam. I actually kind of missed Austin during out trip- does that mean that Texas is getting to me? Scary thought.


Friday, December 18, 2009

What really matters...

Lately I have been thinking a lot about my life and what I am doing with it. Moving across the world and moving back in a year will cause a person to do a bit of soul searching. I just want to be sure that when time flies by and turn around and am in my 50s that I don't sit back and say "Man, what did I do with my life?". All that to say, I'm not sure I have figured it out. But I am closer than I was and have a few ideas.

But, maybe that is not the answer.

This morning on the way to work my car ran out of gas. I would like to take this moment to note that the steering wheel in our lovely 1973 VW blocks the speedometer and gas gauge (it doesn't matter for the speed, because I can never get going fast enough to matter). But the gas gauge is a different story. You can't tell when you're out of gas unless you pull yourself up over the steering wheel and really look- this takes effort and the ability to remember to check. Two things that I don't always possess. So, this morning little Abba just gave out in the middle of a busy road. And to say the least, I was a bit freaked. He wouldn't even start enough for me to pull over to the side of the road. I panicked. And then- a homeless man came over and offered to help me push the car across the busy street to a gas station. He didn't have to do that. But I am so grateful for his willingness to- 1-stop what he was doing- 2-notice someone in need and 3-being willing to help.

Maybe that is the answer. Not what I have done by the time I'm 50, but what I have noticed, who I have helped and the time I have taken out of my day to think of someone and something other than myself.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Cowboy up!

Common Grounds goodness

As I made sure to mention a few weeks ago, Kyle turned 30 this year. He is now the "old" man of the house and to celebrate I got him tickets to see the Dallas Cowboys game in all of Jerry Jones' taxpayers funded glory. Let's just say-we weren't disappointed. Keep your 8.5% coming Texans! We started our Sunday morning road trip with a pit stop in Waco to visit one of my favorite places in the world- 'Common Grounds'. Once we were fully caffeinated- we were safe to resume our trip to 'Cowboys Stadium'- creative name.

Thanks to a helpful tip from a friend we were able to score "free" parking. Free is spending $40 shopping to park at a nearby mall. Which I consider a good deal because at least for my $40 to park, I get a cute shirt to wear. Can't argue with that logic.

So, after a bit of retail therapy we finally headed off for the game!

Kyle outside Cowboy Stadium

A few Cowboys fans

The stadium was packed! There weren't very many empty seats- if any. So, us and the other 80,000 there were all trying to get in at the same time. Which surprisingly wasn't too difficult. They did have separate male and female entrance lines though- I had not seen that before. Although, I must admit I think it was a good idea. First off, there are more men than women at the game. And second off, most woman have a purse that needs to be searched. They really do think of everything these days!

Once we finally reached our seats, we were met with 11,520 square foot jumbo-tron, aka 'Jerry Vision'.

The jumbo-tron in all its glory

Kyle & I managed to buy tickets in the opposing teams section (San Diego)- not sure how! So, we spent the entire game listening to quite a bit of crowd banter. Our favorite quote being "Ahhh, skeet, skeet, skeet" and "What, I can't hear you?". It was a flashback to the good ole middle school days for sure. Unfortunately, it did progress pass middle school antics a few times and the police even made a visit to our section. But in the end all was fine- just a case of macho stupidity! And one drunk loud-mouth (female) cowboys fan.

Field view

The Cowboys ended up losing but we didn't really care either way. We headed back to our car and thanks to the beauty of 'Madge', our GPS system, called ahead and ordered Dominos and ate an entire large pizza on the ride home (okay, we managed to save a few pieces but only after I repeately told Kyle-"We don't HAVE to eat the whole thing you know"). Thanks Jerry Jones for a great day!


Monday, December 7, 2009

I heart Sally...

This weekend one of my favorite people came to visit us- Sally. I love being married to Kyle because he is sweet and funny and wonderful- but also because I LOVE his family. Especially his mother Sally. She is a bit crazier / sillier version of Kyle-so I ask you "who wouldn't love that?"! But she's not all silliness. Her faith in the Lord and personal strength also makes her someone I can admire and strive to be more like. All in all, she the best mother-in-law I could ever ask for!

Enough said!

Well, this weekend she came for a visit. She LOVES Christmas and Christmas lights. So, we all had the chance to go to the River Walk in San Antonio and see some lights. It was surprisingly winteresque here in Texas this weekend too. Friday we saw brief snow flurries and Saturday it was pretty chilly with highs in the low 40's. And that is saying something for Southern Texas! But chilly or not, we walked the river and enjoyed all the festive lights.

Luminaries on the River Walk

Kyle on the River Walk

Kyle & Sally on the River Walk boat tour

The Riverwalk at night