no one was ever blinded by looking at the brighter side of things...

Thursday, December 31, 2009

how time flies...

THEN...

This picture was taken 10 years ago to the day. The New Years Even of the millenium. From top to bottom and left to right...May, Me, Kalli, Melanie, Bree, Jeni.

Looking back it has been 10 years of twists and turns. In this picture we were juniors in high school. Just starting to think about college...wow. Most of us had probably started to drive and some of us had jobs. I am still friends with 4 of the 5 other girls pctured which is awesome.

NOW...

May is currently living in New Zealand with her fiance Matt. They both transfwered over there with their job at PwC. I am living in Washougal and working in Camas. Jason and I got married 5 months ago! Kalli is engaged and getting married on July 3rd, 2009. She lives in Seattle not far from Melanie. Melanie got married this past summer. Bree is living and working in Washington D.C.  Jeni is the one person in this picture I am no longer friends with though we did meet up a few time this summer at events surrounding Melanie's wedding and from my point of view everything went very smoothly and I actually had a good time. She's also the only one with kids and from the pictures I've seen...they are mighty cute!

Tonight we are off to spend NYE '09 with our friends Robyn and Joe. They are a couple that we get along with so well and though Jason and Joe haven't met but a few times, we all click! Robyn emailed me today about making a time capsule tonight to meet up again and open it in 10 years. Looking back...wow...what a good idea that would have been for the above group to do 10 years ago. I wonder what would have been written...could we have forseen any of what we are currently living?

Life has certainly taken us in seperate paths and directons but we've all ended up today, where wer were meant to be.

Happy New Years 2009!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

our year in review...

When I first started this blog I wasn't smart enough to know to transfer my old blog into this one so I lost a year's worth of memories but for those of you who have been reading with me for a while...I wasn't that on top of writing in it. 2009 was a good year for Jason and I. With the house, the wedding, the honeymoon, and the memories. We saw friends we rarely get to see and met family members that had only been names. We laughed a lot, fought and cried a bit (but not too much and certainly not over anything of major importance), and became our own little family of 2, well 3 if you include the cat. Here are some of my favorite memories...


In March I started taking cake decorating classes at JoAnn's for my birthday. I am not a professional and never will be but it is something I really enjoy doing with my time and for people!


In May one of my friends, Stacy, got married!


July 17, 2009. We got married! We had so many friends and family come from all over the country to help us celebrate! It was such a fantastic night.


We honeymooned in Monteago Bay, Jamaica.


On August 1st Robyn married Joe and I was so honored to be a bridesmaid and help them celebrate their special day!



In August Melanie got married to Jon Brown! I was also very excited and honored to be a part of her wedding.


In Septemeber I started my job at Baller Elementary. It has proven to be great fun and a great challenge as I find myself as a teacher and co-worker. Life is one big lesson!

Jason also started his job at Barnes and Nobles this month...



In October the house was finally ours!!!




Meeting Richard Dawkins.


We celebrated Christmas Eve at my parents house with the 5 of us :)

And of my favorite things besides the events I've already mentioned...





I got to see my best friend 2 times within a span of 4 months!!! That has only happened one other year within the last 17 years.

There were so many people that helped make 2009 a great year for both Jason and I! We are thankful to have so many giving, loving, caring, and wonderful people in our life. We are excited to enter 2010 with a couple we love to hangout with but don't get to enough... Robyn and Joe! More on that in a few days I am sure!

Goodbye 2009 and HELLO 2010 and all the changes and adventures you will bring into our life. I hope luck is on our side in making in a memorable year.

christmas in Auburn...

We had a pretty good time in Auburn, for the short period of time we were there. The day started out with Jason's Dad's side of the family where we went out to lunch.

After that we went over to Jason's Grandma Sprague's to see some of his Mom's side of the family. They had had a huge get together on Christmas day and so we only got to see a select few people :) Our favorite's being the Sprague family consisting of Kenny, Shana, Linkin, and Adeline (Addy). We had yet to meet Addy since her birthday on October 26th so I was VERY excited to get to meet her and play with Linkin!!!

We finished up the trip by visiting Jason's friends Adam and Josh and their lovely ladies. Adam and Katie recently moved into a new house and were gracious enough to host us for the night. They have a very nice guest room that we put to good use :)

Here are some pictures of our romps.







I also have some pretty hilarious video's of Link and Kenny dancing but I can't figure out how to make them work today...I'll try again later!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

christmas with the McLeans...


On the 26th of December we had out third day of celebration with some of our greatest friends, the McLean family. Bree is one of my favorite friends and her family has always been such a great support for me. Our parents are also great friends and get together often to play bridge and go skiing and camping. Whenever the year's events work...we get together around Christmas for a big dinner.



Micah and Conor are Bree's brothers and a great source of slave labor when it comes to big meals :)


Bree was very busy flavoring some tofu for her dinner...she's no longer a carnivore.


After dinner we played some games...standard McLean/Oakes tradition. We played catch phrase for a while (pictured here) and the moved onto Trivial Pursuit, which we found out was copy writted in 1981. Which, is older than almost all the kids in attendace that night. The questions were pretty hilarious that is forusre!

It is always a good time when we all get together. Unfortunately, Tony and Jason couldn't be there. Tony was at his girl friend's and Jason was at work...maybe the next time :)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

our first christmas as the eeds...

A few months ago as we began to talk about holidays Jason become adament about us being together, at our house, just the two of us, on Christmas Morning. Back then I thought that wouldn't happen but I am so glad it did. This will be a tradition we hope to keep going. To celebrate with family on various other days because really, isn't that what it is supposed to be about? Who you celebrate with...not on what day? As we grow into this "family" thing over the next few years I think this will be an important tradition and day to uphold as our own. This year we did have my parents over for dinner and that is okay. But Jason and I did enjoy a nice, quiet morning in our bathrobes opening up Christmas presents. I love my husband and am glad that we had that time together...before the baking started ;-)


Our cute little Christmas tree!!! Take note of my stocking...a new teddy bear!


Using our Spode Christmas Tree plates from the Rode Family. They were a fun wedding present and a nice collection that we can add onto as the years go on!


This was too funny not to take a picture of...the rack on the left we got after the wedding with a gift card...it is supposed to be an over space saver. I'm not sure if it saved space or not. But when you have a million new kitchen gadgtes...you HAVE to use them all :) Atleast that is my thought.

christmas eve...

As we get older and some traditions stay and some change, this year was a percfect example of that. Tony was headed up to Kellie's for Christmas and so that left Christmas Eve to have our family dinner and present opening! It was a very nice afternoon/evening of spending time together. We are so fortunate to get some lovely gifts from my parents. Jason got presents mainly having to do with fixing up the house (hinthint) which is exactly what he asked for! Also, now, my Dad can have some of his tools back. Jason is now the proud owner of a Craftsman Circular Saw and right when we got home he went and tested it on some scrap wood we had lying around! I got alot of stuff for around the house...towels and a bathrobe being my favorites!


Here is Jason trying to open his Bilzbox. If you haven't seen these tourtue devices then you haven't been to the Oakes house on Christmas. My Mom loves to put our money from our grandparents in them so it is harder to get too. One year they even took my money out of my room while I was in the shower and put it BACK in the box. I am not a fan, incase you can't tell. Though I have gotten lucky in the last few years and have either (accidently ;-) broken them or like this year, mine just poped open! Jason and Tony had to work a little harder for their cash.



As we were wrapping up opening presents a FedEx worker in an Enterprise Rental Van pulled up to deliver a last muinute present from the Ziegler's...



And of course, my favorite part of Christmas Eve. Meat Fondue and Christmas Crackers with crowns. I love my family and I love my family traditions and can't wait to have a family of our own to share them with!

christmas cookies...

Last year we started baking goods for our family and friends as part of their Christmas presents. Partly out of lack of monetary funds, partly out of our closer proximity to their house (we didn't have to lug cookies across the state for weeks), and partly because I LOVE baking!



Jason didn't have much experience with a rolling pin so I made him give it a go! This was the only batch he rolled out, he was much happier to be the one to take them off the pan once they cooked.



Peppermint bark! This was SO easy, so delicious and really inexpensive to make...a bonus all around.



I love spritz cookies!



And my all time favorite...Russian teacakes.

There are more pictures from us decorating cut out cookies but I had to take them with my phone since I left my camera at my parents house on Christmas Eve and that is when we decorated cookies...I'll try to figure out how to get them up here but they are on facebook if you're on there...

Monday, December 21, 2009

zoo lights...



We started a new tradition this year...Zoo Lights at the Oregon Zoo. The Zoo is amazing and only about a half an hour from our house (without traffic). It was raining but in the PNW (Pacific Northwest) you can't let that stop your plans...otherwise you'd be stuck inside 8 months of the year. We decided to brave the rain, which really was a drizzle by the time we got to the zoo, and have a fun night out. We rode the train (the main highlight) and walked around visitng the monkey's, the elephants, and attempting to see my favorite...the bears.

It really is amazing what the Zoo looks like with all these lights everywhere! Check out my Picassa Page (link on the right) to see the rest of the pictures!




Rainbow train :-)



Though the bears were out of sight but I did size myself up against them!

video

Watch the frogs play a little leap frog!

starting christmas traditions...

Since this is our first 'true' Christmas together we've had many discussions and thoughts about starting family Christmas traditions. My family has a few traditions we are carrying over like Meat Fondue which we generally do on Christmas Eve. That is something we will carry on for a life time. It also has become apparent in the last few years that as our families change...so must our traditions. Last year I didn't even see my brother over Christmas since our plans did not cross paths. This year I'll see him but not his girl friend and we won't see Jason's family until the 29th...

When we started talking about where we'd be for each holiday a few months back Jason and I felt very strongly that we want to start THIS year on having our Christmas morning, at our own house, as a family. No matter the fact that we don't have kids in the family sense...but we are a family. It is our plan from here on out to have Christmas morning here, under our tree! That is not to say that we won't be visiting people or having people visit us. This year we are having my parents over on Christmas which is a big daunting as I want it to be perfect, along with the fact that it is awesome/strange at the same time to have my parents to our house...still getting used to that!

Along thing that will be "new" is visiting Jason's family on the 29th of December. That is just how Jason's work schedule works out this year...it is nice that they have been supportive of our choices and flexible in their schedule's when it comes to ours.

We feel lucky that we have such great family and friends that we get to spend this holiday season with!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

oh the christmas tree...

We have had quite the year with our Christmas tree. We got our tree at Thorton's Tree Farm because that is where google led us. We were stunned to find out how spendy these little trees are. Next year we'll hopefully be able to go to up the forest for better memories and a better price! We put it up the same day we got it since it had been unusually dry weather for this time of year.

Two days after we got it Jason woke up to the tree laying on the couch. Yes, you read that right. I wish we had a picture of it but Jason's mind doesn't work like that ;-) After many failed attempted we stole a play from the Steve Oakes playbook and secured our tree stand to a piece of wood so it now has a much wider base! I have very smart men in my life!!!

Here are some pictures of our Christmas Tree 2009 Journey :-)

The Eeds!!!
On the hunt ready with the supplies...


Found it. Let the sawing begin!

I took a very unproductive turn...

Once we got it home we remembered how much Loki loves trees.


A star on top of the tree :)

Tree. Annie. Stockings. HAPPY!

Out lovely tree. Take One.

This AWESOME ornament is from one of my best friends Robyn! She came over at some point (I literally cannot remember when) and gave us this sweet card and a very thoughtful gift of this ornament. We wrote out address and year on it and will always treasure it. I'm so glad to have such a thoughtful and caring friend!

This ornament I actually bought last year for 99 cents but since it didn't say a year on it, I figured I was safe :) I love being thrifty!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

proof that i CAN cook...

This post is more just to prove that I can in fact cook...I give Jason all the props he deserves because he really does cook almost all the time and is very good at it. But once in a while I like to show my skills too! I enjoy baking because it involves mixing a bunch of stuff together, making it taste good, and letting it cook while I enjoy something else. Lasagna is the prefect thing for me to cook...because it is like baking. There is not too much timing involved as far as making sure all the separate things get done at the same time...unless there is a bread involved :)

I made this dinner for Jason yesterday since while he had to work an 8 hour shift, he still got up really early because I had to do a fasting blood draw at the hospital which required a 8am appointment...which meant getting up earlier than that! Also, have a 5 day weekend is leaving me energized, relaxed, and wanting to be in the kitchen!!!

The makings of my Alfredo Chicken and Spinach Lasagna

Pasta, layered.

Add Ricotta cheese.


Add the spinach/onion/garlic/mushroom/chicken mixture.


Add Mozzarella cheese.

Add Parmesan cheese.

Add Alfredo sauce.


Repeat until 3 or 4 layers high. Top with cheeses. Bake in oven at 375 for 40 minutes. ENJOY!