Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013!

I can't believe it is already time for another year in review post! I think if I had to come up with one word to describe this year it would be unexpected. So many good things happened during this year that involved little planning or no planning at all.

At the beginning of this year, we had no plans whatsoever to move back home. We literally decided that, and made a plan of action while we were eating lunch at a Subway. I graduated from college (totally expected), and got a job during my first post graduation interview (totally unexpected). I convinced Adam that we needed to take our trip to Amsterdam in the manor of an hour. And we survived a few months living apart, while I worked and he prepared the house for our move.

And those were just the main highlights of the year, we did so many other fun things such as: spent a weekend in Manhatten Beach, toured the Ronald Reagan Presidential library, had a surprise Valentine's Day breakfast, tried a whole bunch on new recipes, went wine tasting in Temecula Valley, celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary, turned 26 and 28, visited my alma mater,  went to Disneyland, roadtriped through Tombstone, Arizona & San Antonio, Texas, ran a 5k and walked a 10k, decorated our new apartment, threw a Southern Homecoming Party, showed off my new office, handed out candy to trick or treaters, visited the galaxy of lights and Jack Daniel's Distillery (as part of our failed 12 dates of Christmas), decorated our home for Christmas, built a gingerbread train, visited Lambeau Field, spent Christmas in Wisconsin, and got trapped in a blizzard.

Just reading that, I'm exhausted.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Oh, December 25

This Christmas was the first year Adam and I got to spend together with one of our families since the year we got engaged. And only the 2nd time I've been to Wisconsin. Adam's family lives in a little farm house in the middle of nowhere.  It is lovely. And every time I've been there, it has been a winter wonderland, and this trip was no exception. There are few things prettier than undisturbed snow.

Adam's family has different traditions than mine. They open up all their gifts on Christmas eve, and then just do dinner on Christmas day. My family always opened up their gifts Christmas morning. So to me, it is odd to wake up Christmas morning, and have no gifts to unwrap, but hey it is a lot of fun to tear into all those gifts a day early. So I'll take it!

I think my favorite part of this Christmas was the hours spent playing Mario Party on the Wii with the family. Oh, all the smack talk and all the things Adam's grandma said during game play had us all rolling on the floor laughing. And how badly we all sucked at the snow mobile racing game was a riot.

So basically we had a perfect Christmas. Snow on the ground and time spent with family is basically all you can ask for.

A Pilgrimage of Sorts

When Adam and I figured out that our road trip would take us through Green Bay, Wisconsin, there was no ifs, ands, or butt about it, we knew we would be going to see the stadium of our beloved Packers. And I'm so glad we did, not only was it just an all around great day, it was surprisingly really touching to learn the LONG history of the Packers.  The only team located in a small town, the only team owned by the fans, and the only team that is older than every other team in the NFL (other than the Chicago bears, by one month, darn you BEARS).

We took a tour of the stadium which lead us up to a private suite, where we had the best seats in the house, to learn the history. And then they took us down to field level. Unfortunately, the field was covered because of all the snow from the day before. We then spent some time in the hall of fame, trying our hand at the lambeau leap (no dice, that wall is HIGH) and posing next to all four Superbowl trophies. Before eating dinner at Curly's Pub, sampling the traditional Wisconsin fair, brats with sauerkraut and cheese curds.

Next year, we hope to finally go to a Green Bay Game, which just might make 2013 our favorite year ever. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Oh, Euclid. You Were So Unlovely.

Did you know that they are naming blizzards now? Just like they do hurricanes? I sure didn't. But I learned this yesterday. You see, we spent the holidays with Adam's side of the family up in Wisconsin. And we had a great road trip up (I got to visit a new state Indiana, and at our hotel in Indiana we got to watch a prostitute go through the trash in the continental breakfast area, before taking the bag up to the hotel room, after her "boyfriend" stuffed her money in the trashcan, BREAKFAST AND A SHOW). And we had a great time in Wisconsin (more to come on that later).

But yesterday, my mother informed us a blizzard was about to blow in. Winter storm Euclid to get technical. But my mother can be a little over-reactive, so I mostly ignored her, which sometimes works out for me, but most of the time she ends up being right, and she is not afraid to rub that in my face .

Adam and I did glance at the weather, but it didn't look too bad, although I did hope Adam would say we should wait an extra day, so we could sneak off into town and see Les Miserables. But we had to get to work on Thursday and blah, blah, blah he said. So we set off at 5:00 a.m. this morning with high hopes of getting to Alabama tonight.

But once we hit Indiana it got a little snowy. No big deal we thought. But then it started snowing sideways, and the snow was building up on the roads LIKE CRAZY. And the highway was like a slip and slide, and it was taking 20 minutes to drive 200 feet. And I was convinced we were going to die.  And my feet were way cold, and I hate when my feet get cold.  So I admitted defeat, and my mom found us a hotel room 20 miles down the road, which took 2 and a half hours to get to because of all the cars stuck in ditches (but no one seemed hurt).

So now we sit in a hotel room with a bed that is not our bed, and we are kind of wishing we were home instead. But we will get home tomorrow, where it will be semi-warm and welcoming.  But I guess this is the perils of winter weather traveling. And something crazy with the weather almost always happens when we go to Wisconsin. Better luck next year?

Monday, December 17, 2012

On Our Fifth Date of Christmas: We Mailed a Southern Care Package

Last week, our old neighbor in California posted some Christmas photos of the outside of the duplex we used to share, and looking at the pictures I thought, "Our California life seems like a million lifetimes ago." It was an odd feeling because I mostly live my life in a state of perpetual nostalgia, and I swear it feels like yesterday I was a little middle schooler with out of control curls. But yet, the life I was living just 5 months ago almost feels like I dreamed it.

I guess we have just settled into our new life in Alabama so seamlessly, without any of those growing pains we had in California.  But yet, California has such a wonderful place in my heart because those were our first years of marriage, when times were lean and money was tight. and we really had to depend on and trust each other.

Alabama is wonderful, but we do really miss some things about California. Like being a stone throws away from Hollywood & Disneyland, those delicious pretzel sticks from Claim jumpers, the beach, and of course our wonderful friends.

We really wanted to share a little bit of our new life with our California friends, so we put together a Southern Care Package including:

1. Fresh Picked Cotton (That's right I pulled over to the side of an Alabama road, and picked it on a seriously cold, fall morning).

2.A Lynchburg Whiskey Cake (made with Jack Daniel's)

3. Teaberry Chewing Gum

4.  A Pecan Log Roll

5. Cow Tails Candies

6. Jack Daniel's Mustard & BBQ Sauce

7. Corn Muffin Mix

8. Southern Pecan Coffees

9. Handcocked Virginia Peanuts

10. Cherry Cola and other Various Flavored Swizzle Sticks

11. Moon Pies

12. Goo Goo Clusters

Our friends were so excited when they got it, and I loved bringing our two lives together, even in just a small way.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

On Our Fourth Date of Christmas: We Built a Gingerbread Train!

I think it is becoming some what of a tradition in our household to build a gingerbread house err stuff every Christmas. So this year, we decided to mix it up a little, and I bought a gingerbread train. The train was surprisingly easier to build than the house, the house took some balancing logistics that a therapist and an accountant just aren't cut out for.

In the words of Honey Boo Boo's mom, our gingerbread train is beautomous. I honestly don't know whose idea it was to decorate Adam's face afterwards though. I would almost swear on my life that the thought occurred to each of us simultaneously. Which is what makes us such a good couple, we are just SO in sync when it comes to goofiness. And that was the best part of the evening!

Who knows what we will build next year, a gingerbread rocket ship? I feel like we have to keep raising the bar!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Alabama Bucket List

Since my California bucket list was so much fun, I thought it was about time I posted an Alabama One! You know, now that we are living here and all.

1. Shop at Unclaimed Baggage, Scottsboro, Alabama
2. See the Space and Rocket Center, Huntsville, Alabama
3. Hike the Walls of Jericho, Jackson County, Alabama
.4. Tour the U.S.S. Alabama, Mobile Bay, Alabama
5. Visit Helen Keller's Birth Place, Tuscumbia, AL
6. Tour the Civil Rights Museum, Birmingham, AL
7. Explore the Mcwane Science Center, Birmingham, AL
8. Attend The Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Montgomery, AL
9. Visit the First White House of the Confederacy and Alabama State Capital Building Montgomery, AL
10. Go to Noccalua Falls, Gadsden, AL
11. Attend the Fiddler's Convention, Athens, AL
12. Attend Alabama Frontier Days, Fort Toulouse-Fort Jackson, AL
13. Go to the Iron Bowl (An Always Epic Alabama vs. Auburn Match up), Tuscaloosa, AL or Auburn, AL
14. Spend a day at the National Peanut Festival, Dothan, AL
15. Tour the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, Tuscumbia, AL
16. Shop at the Limestone Flea Market, Madison, AL
17. Attend the Alabama Jubilee Hot-Air Balloon Classic, Decatur, AL
18. Eat at Big Bob Gibson's Bar-B-Q, Decatur, AL
19. Go to the Nascar Race at Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega, AL
20. Pick berries at the Barber Berry Farm U-Pick,  Millbrook, AL
21. Visit Alligator Alley, Summerdale, AL
22. Walk/Drive the Galaxy of Lights (Christmas) at the Botanical Gardens, Huntsville, AL
23. Attend the Renaissance Festival, Florence, AL
24. Eat at Irondale Cafe (Restaurant the movie Fried Green Tomatoes was based off Of), Irondale, CA
25. Tour Sloss Furnaces, Birmingham, CA
26. Attend Bay Fest Music Fest, Mobile, AL
27. See the Ava Maria Grotto in Cullman, AL
28. Drink Toomer's Lemonade at Toomer's Drugs, Auburn, Alabama
29. Visit Confederate Memorial Park, Marbury, AL
30. Eat at Cotton Row, Huntsville, AL
31. Visit Abbeville Historic Old Pioneer Cementery, Abbeville, AL
32. See a Civil War Reenactment, Anywhere, AL
33. Stay the the Anchorlight Bed and Breakfast, Crest Line, AL

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

An Online Link Love Book Vol. VII

Growing up my best friend had a barbie dream house with a working elevator, and I thought that was the coolest thing that could ever be associated with Barbie. I was soo wrong, this photo shoot done of Barbie's and Ken's "wedding day" takes the cake.

Being that I'm totally fashioned challenge, I thought this list of 21 essential fashion items for your twenties was helpful.

The Gilmore Girls is my ultimate favorite show, and I think that it is so cool that there is a list out there with every book Rory Gilmore ever mentioned or was seen reading during the show!

These pictures of a Six Flags Theme Park that was abandoned after Hurricane Katrina are hauntingly beautiful.

I love this article about predicted baby naming trends for 2013! I wonder how accurate this will be. And will we see a lot of copy cat naming once Princess Kate has her baby?

Here are 40 copy cat recipes for delicious, famous restaurant/fast foods! Krispee Kreme donuts and Outback's Bushman's Bread? Yes, please.

I've been obsessed with this tumblr for months. Her GIFs and captions seriously crack me up.

This website tells you what time you should get up in the morning to feel the most rested, depending on what time you go to bed! It is based on sleep cycles. Wonder if it works?

Blame it on the psych nerd in me, but I've always been fascinated by the psychology of color. And this graphic really breaks it down.

Just a collection of the prettiest iPhone wallpapers on the Internet.

Monday, December 3, 2012

On Our Third Date of Christmas: We Decorated Our Tree!

We finally got our tree up this weekend and decorated our little apartment. And I was so glad because I was getting uber jealous of all my friends on facebook with their fab trees.  Saturday night my mother and stepfather came over, even bringing their lab, Carlee, and we ordered pizza, watched the always classic Christmas vacation, and trimmed the tree.

Some people do their trees all fancy with color coordinated ornaments and  tons of tinsel and garland. But I love the beauty and simplicity of a mismatched tree with different ornaments collected over the years. Leave the perfectly matched stuff for the department stores! And finally it is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas around here.