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

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmases 4 & 5...and NYE '11

We had Christmases 4 & 5 with Jason's family up in Auburn.

At the start of the trip I headed over to my favorite Aunt of Jason's to do some scrapbooking!!

One of the things that Jason enjoys most is taking his Grandma out to breakfast or dinner or something, to get her out of the house. She does not drive, she actually never has, and so whenever we go up there we try to get her out. This year we went to 13 Coins which is our favorite place to go near Auburn. She really seemed to enjoy herself and we enjyoed her company. She has a lot to say and doesn't always get to say it with Jason's busy family around...

That evening we saw some of our favorite little people for the first time in 13 months...which is WWAAYY too long considering they live2 hours North of us. It is tough thought when the visiting only happens near their house and they never come to see us.

We saw Jason's Dad at some point in there, actually, we also went out to 13 Coins with him. He's the one who introduced us to it!

We spent NYE with our friends Josh and Adam & Katie. It was very lowkey but that was totally okay with us. We played an awesome games called Whits & Wagers and just talked. It was so nice. These are Jason's best friends from high school and I consider Katie a friend and we certainly don't see them often enough!


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Parts 1 ~ 3...

Well, last year we had 6 Christmas celebrations...and this year we had a measly 5...heehee.

It started out on Wednesday the 21st with the 6 of us. My sister-in-law knew she had to work on Christmas Day (she's a NICU nurse) but we wanted to still be able to get together. We met at my parents house to have a nice dinner together and to exchange presents.

The tree at my parent's house...always over flowing.

Jason and I trying to open our BilzBoxes.

Tony and Kellie trying to open theirs.

Bilz Boxes are these devilish little things that are puzzlers that you have to get open to get what is inside...and money is always inside. My parents LOVELOVELOVE watching us struggle to open them. My Dad even whipped out the video camera this year!

As always, we got majorly spoiled by my parents. They are SO giving and gracious and we are all so lucky to have them!!

A few days later Jason and I headed over to my parent's house again, this time for Christmas Eve fondue - quite possibly my favorite tradition ever. This year was slightly different...first my Mom forgot to have the Christmas Crackers and my Dad and Jason took the oil fondue to a new level and they were frying potato skins with onions. Next year they claim they are bringing Twinkies...we will see!!

We did Christmas morning by ourselves and I was very spoiled by my husband!!

That evening we were hosting our second Christmas Day Dinner and it was our first time cooking turkey. We MIGHT have put it in wayyy too early but at least it wasn't burnt or raw!! It was dry and next we will plan it out a bit better!!

For Christmas Day we had my parents, my brother, and two ladies who work with Jason over for dinner. Jenny and Ann have only been working with Jason for a month or so and neither had the money or the time off to go home and no one should be alone on Christmas!!

I was most excited for dessert...Baked Alaska's!!

After dinner the ladies went home and my family stayed and we played some XBOX Kinect and had a good time hanging out together.

Christmases 1 - 3 were amazingly fun. I love love love my family!!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Zoo Lights 2011

When we moved to the PDX area Jason and I started the tradition of going to the Portland Zoo for their Zoo Lights. And even though we don't have kids - we have a good time!!

The first year it snowed...
And this year was just down-right cold. I wore long johns under my jeans!!

We like to go a bit early to see the animals. I was bummed the Black Bear weren't out like they were last year but I did get to see quite the funny Polar Bear!!

He was TOTALLY looking at me :)

A rainbow of lights...idea for next year (haha, Jason would kill me!!)


Headed to the train. Only about a 25 minute wait this year.
Unfortunately we were infront of some people who were talking rather loudly about things that weren't appropriate for public places. I guess they just needed to get it out!

Self portait - of course!!

Here comes our train!!

bears from the train

from the train looking out into the main part of the zoo

We stopped in to see the elephant's the the baby (who is 3) was very playful!!

Getting some hay from up top!

Taking hay and throwing it at the kids behind the glass.

Mom and baby feeding each other.

Dad was outside :-)

Two more bear shots before we left :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

On the hunt for the perfect Christmas tree!!!

Just like last year, we headed to Ferrell Farms to get our Christmas Tree. There really isn't another place (besides the mountains) that is like this farm. You cut your tree down, haul it to the road and they come and get it and bundle it for you. All the while you are sipping hot cocoa or hot apple cider and eating candy canes. It is amazing!!

We had another lucky adventure and it was a mild day, really only sweatshirts needed. Jason was first up this Thanksgiving but he managed (probably because of my nagging) to take a few hour break to come home and get a tree. My parents joined us this year and hopefully Tony and Kellie will be able to come next year...they were both working this year!

self portrait :)

Jason doing the work. Me taking the pictures. Typical.

Tagged and ready to be picked up!

Enjoying the fire!!

Hot cocoa with a candy cane in there somewhere!

The Eeds'

The Oakes'

Saturday, November 26, 2011

tackling the Christmas season...

I have big plans for this Christmas season. We shall see how the turn out...I'll report back in January!

~ When writing the Christmas cards I want to take the time, aka start now, to write something meaningful to the recipient on the inside! I am also whittling down my Christmas card list. I've been keeping track for the last 3 years about who sends us cards and the list this year is considerably smaller :)

~ Start making Christmas cookies and freezing them to make the week before Christmas less stressful. I've made my inital list of what cookies and treats I'm going to include and if they can be frozen and for how long.

~ Spend what I say I am going to spend! We have set budgets not only for what to give to each other but other family members. Last year we went a little crazy and there is just no need too! We are also going on a nice trip for Spring Break (can you say Kauai!!!) so we we will be spending some money then too :)

~ Give back to those who are in need. During Thanksgiving our local Safeway had these bags by the checkout that were $10 and went to local shelters and families who were in need of food for Thanksgiving. I know 10 dollars isn't a major amount but it is my hope that that helped a family. I want to do something like that at the grocery store once during this season and then go to a store that is has a tree that has presents or ages of kids to buy for. Again, that doesn't cost me a lot and I can certainly afford that. This is kind of like a pay-it-forward type of thing :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Gooble, Gooble Who is that??

We had two different Thanksgiving celebrations this year with 2/3 of our families. We started the festivities the Friday before Thanksgiving in Auburn with Jason's Mom's side. His cousin Amy, her husband Brian, and their son Blaine were in town from Texas and we were invited to their Thanksgiving and we hussled up after work to make the festivities!

It was a nice night and it is always great to see Amy, Brian, and Blaine. Jason and Blaine had an especially busy time!!!

Mike, Blaine & Jason

Jason and Blaine played cars for over an hour!!!

Blaine and his great-grandma's.

Uncle Jason is the comfiest seat in the house!!


On actual Thanksgiving Day we headed over to my parents house to have a calm Thanksgiving the 4 of us.

As you can see my parents are working hard.... ;-)

My Mom always has fancy napkins...

Christmas crackers for Thanksgiving Day :-)

This was SO much food - especially considering there was only 4 of us!

Delicious food.

After dinner Jason had to head home to work but I stayed and did our anual after dinner Christmas craft. You can see the bath salts & homemade cocoa mix by clicking on the link.