Sunday, December 27, 2009

a quiet morning

Today is Sunday, December 27. We go home today. We've been at Colin's parents in Katonah, New York since Thursday. I'm laying in bed, the sun is shining so bright into the window. And I'm thinking about the last week, the last month, the last year and, wow, I can't believe it's all over.

It's been a very good year, crowded mostly with wedding bells ringing in my head (but that's a good thing!). If I had to encapsulate this year in a single word, it would be: family. We've watched Baby Sapphire, a blessed child, grow and smile. Hannah came home. I've become closer with Colin's family and he with mine. We started family night—a weekly dinner every Sunday night with Emi, Kev, Hannah and sometimes Sapphire when she's awake, sometimes Isaac, sometimes others—that I believe has made us closer. Despite one special family member passing the year before, I've seen more of my auntie Lucy and uncle John—and that makes up for it a little bit.

Some friends have become family: my girlfriends, the Kouris (Kevin's clan) opened their doors to us for Sapphire's dedication, Thanksgiving and many other times too. Friends and family had babies, got married, got engaged, got pregnant. Colin and I have just a few weeks left and then we will be married.

As for special memories and accomplishments: one of my favorites is the road-trip that Colin and I took to Prince Edward Island this summer for a friend's wedding. The trip was long, the stay was short, but all in all fantastic. I will never forget that trip. We worked on the house a little bit more, painted more rooms. I became a better snowboarder. My sister Emma got her Ph.D. Hannah began a new phase of her life: on her way to become the best hair stylist ever. At work, I've never worked so hard since Middlebury. We launched a new Website and had a relatively good year despite the economy. Still Colin and I weren't totally immune: there were budget cuts and pay freezes, but we made it through okay. We still feel so lucky and blessed to have amazing jobs, a beautiful home and supportive family on both sides to help get us through any challenges.

Next stop: Wedding Central, and I can't wait!

Monday, December 14, 2009

good ol' bubble & squeak

Now that I'm eating a little meat every now and then, I've revived the bubble & squeak dinner of my childhood: bangers and mash (sausage & mashed potatoes) with a side of steamed cabbage. I made it tonight for a quick dinner and Colin proclaimed it his second favorite winter meal after chili. The twist on the original is that I use the Al fresco chicken sausages. (The teriyaki ginger & apple maple flavors are the best.) This time, I steamed the potatoes and cabbage together (added the cabbage halfway through) and that worked out swell. Mashies with just a tad of butter, milk, salt & pepper. Cabbage with the same.

And of course, I served mustard alongside. Colin likes the grainy kind of Dijon mustard. Me, I like Coleman's Hot English Mustard.

Mmm, so good!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

another week whizzes by

This one was chock-full of good stuff (and a few misses). Meeting with our photographer Sabin to go over details of the wedding. That got us very excited! Colin was at Stowe pretty much all week to prep for the Burton winter sales meeting, which is today. (He works so hard!) Our friends Mindy & Bobby flew in for the sales meeting and we were going to all have dinner together on Wednesday night, but they ended up coming a day later because of the snow storm.

Sad about not seeing them. Happy about the snow. Not happy about summer tires still on. Icky commute.

Hosted my annual cookie swap on Thursday night and made these yummy thumbprint cookies from work. They were a big hit. In fact, everyone's cookies were amazing. We did a vote to see whose were the best. Mandy's & Lauren's were neck in neck. Both were the classic buttery kind—of course! But Lauren's festive ball cookies won, so she got the prize—a tin of mini star cookie cutters. I'm pretty sure everyone was jealous.

Friday night I hung out with Sapphie while Em & Kev went to a work function. Actually that's a lie. We didn't really hang out since Sapphie was sleeping the whole time. And I was too, pretty much.

Col was still in Stowe and didn't get back till Saturday evening. Just in time for us to don our finest threads, down a shot of espresso from our awesome new machine and jump in a stretch limo to head over to our friend Sheehan's party. The party was in this insane loft apartment in Winooski—our friend Ben lives there. It was super fun. Saw lots of people we haven't seen in a while. Saw a bunch of new faces, which was refreshing. I danced with my sisters. Sheehan and Ben had bartenders, a DJ, a door man and the limo driver.

Really, if you're gonna host a fabulous holiday party in cold weather, do it like Sheehan & Ben do: rent a limo for the whole night and have it pick up all of your friends so no one has to drive or walk outside in fancy shoes. Now that's fabulous!

Sunday cozy inside with the kitties. Christmas lights on, blustery and snowy outside. I like this feeling. Mmm I think I'll go make some guacamole for family night dinner. Byebye.

Monday, December 07, 2009

one year later

I still can't believe it, but it's already a year ago that Colin and I drove out to Paine's to cut down our Christmas tree after a day of snowboarding at Stowe. A year ago that Colin got down on his knee and proposed to me, out in the woods in the middle of nowhere. It's been a great year. A fast one and a great one.

We drove back to Paine's this weekend. There wasn't as much snow as last year (none!) and the mountain hadn't opened yet. But at least it was chilly and my toes got cold. We walked all over in search of the second perfect tree. They have acres and acres of trees on that the farm. But finally after at least an hour of walking to and fro, we found a big fat tree, right in the same exact spot as last year's tree.

That spot is magical, I swear. As soon as we looked at each other and said, "this is it," snow flakes started falling.

We got to work. This tree must be fatter than last year's tree. The trunk is ginormous and it measured over 10 feet tall! This year, I wasn't so preoccupied with my ring finger, so I lent a hand. A little hand, anyhow. It still took us a half hour to cut it down.

The man on the tractor came and picked us up. Heavy tree!

The men back at the tree stand wrapped her up in twine and tied her to the car. Big bendy tree! We got lots of funny looks from people passing us on the interstate. It snowed almost the whole way home.

She was curvier than we thought. It was a challenge to get her in the stand without swaying to and fro, but finally we did. And Colin made a new star for the tippy top. And here's the tree.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

girly nonsense

With our wedding now less than two months away, it's the only thing on my mind. I'm totally obsessed. Which means that if I write anything at all, it's most likely going to be wedding-related. (Sorry!) So here's an indulgent girly post:

I was never the kind of girl who fantasized about her wedding. But I did love to dress up. I used to sneak into my mother's closet and put on her wedding dress and attached the pretty opal costume brooch that her Gramsy gave her to wear on her wedding day. I didn't dream about ballgowns or white roses or limousines, but I did covet that brooch. So one day, I snagged it from my Mum's jewelry box—and I've been keeping watch over it ever since: I too will wear it on my wedding day. (Mum, I promise I'll return it afterwards!)

So now I've been searching for some earrings to match. Hannah and I were going to make some, but when we figured out that it would be cheaper to just buy them, I went straight to Etsy (of course!) and found the perfect pair of earrings from Marie Wu designs. Here they are, aren't they lovely?? At first I felt guilty about buying them, but then Hannah reasoned that I can pass these down to my daughter on her wedding day (or at least to Sapphie if I don't have a daughter). She said: It's your wedding day, afterall! And I said, You're right! And I'm so excited about these babies:

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