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A Christmas to Remember.


Alright! I’m home, settled and have completed a full week back at work, post Christmas in

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Meiko wearing my antlers

Colorado! I thought I’d post a “how our Christmas went” type of blog, since Lauren took the time to do so too!

 

We started Christmas Eve with Mitchell’s family. Breakfast, and stockings, and a little bit of time just hanging out. It was low-key and drama free. 4 pups, 9 people and Christmas Cheer.

After we had finished celebrations with them, we decided it was time to finish up packing, and spend some more time with Kitten before we left her for the week. (This was the longest we’ve ever left her, I was feeling really guilty.)

We had an uber come pick us up, and we nervously, and excitedly packed all our luggage in the back of her explorer, and headed on our way to the airport. I don’t fly very often, and actually, the last time I was on a plane was 2009 when my stepdad passed away. I was a little nervous and unsure how quickly we’d be able to get through security, and even more worried about how my anxiety would img_7782be on the plane. I don’t have a normal and rational fear of the plane crashing (and honestly I personally would never be afraid of that…) My anxiety about flying is ridiculous and silly, but it’s very real.

Mitchell and I decided to get to the airport early.

Never. Again.

It’s been ages since I’ve flown, and even longer since I’ve flown on my own (those of you that followed me from LiveJournal will remember the last time I flew alone was 2007 to Texas.)

Last time I flew things were a little different, and being three and a half hours early for your flight was no big deal.

So Mitchell and I thought nothing of getting to the airport a little early, put our anxieties at ease, and have a little time to relax before hopping on a plane full of complete strangers.

Imagine our surprise when we got there and our airline had a sign saying no one was going to be at the counter until 2 hours before flight. We had 2 checked bags, which meant we couldn’t go through security or anything until they were at the counter. So we had a long 1.5 hour wait… we sat, and talked, my anxiety rose, people stared at us.

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Mitchell and I post security, showing off our attire.

oh, pause! I forgot to tell you! We went to the airport in our Christmas PJ’s (Mitchell’s Christmas Pikachu PJ’s and my Bumble PJ’s) wearing our Pikachu hoodies and a santa hat, and I had antlers and Mitchell had Pikachu ears on top of our santa hats! We both had these fabulous christmas light necklaces that I found on amazon.

Once employees showed up at the counter, we lined up (took a good 30 minutes to get through the counter) and we headed off to security! Everything went smoothly, and the photo above was us celebrating finally making it through security! We wondered down timg_7799o our gate, found it, and then decided it was time to find a place to get some food and a drink or two.

We stumbled across this place called Africa Lounge. We sat in the bar, Mitchell ordered a
“large” beer (which to our surprise was HUGE) and I got their alcoholic coffee. It was super delicious, we sat, ate some food and gushed about how excited we were to be on our very first vacation!

After our meal at the Africa Lounge, we continued on to the nearby bookstore, picked up a bottle of water (mitchell has to take some congestion meds when he flies, and we both felt we needed to hydrate.)  We picked up a few fun souvenirs for Lauren and Elisabeth, and headed to the gate. We got t

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Successfully boarded on the plane!

here just in time for boarding, and loaded on the plane. We got settled, my anxiety went down a little, and we sat back and relaxed.

 

While on our 2.5 hour flight to Denver, we goofed off, closed our eyes, and made friends with the girl sitting next to us (bless her heart, I may have accidentally caught her in the background of some of our selfies.

Mitchell played some games on his phone, I listened to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on Audible and we both took turns watching out the window.

We didn’t fall asleep at all, but we did close our eyes, our flight left at 7, and landed at 10:30. We had been up since 8am, and with a mixture of holiday stress, and traveling stress, we were exhausted!

About 15 minutes before landing we turned off our music and chatted about how  excited

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Sleepy, but incredibly happy to be on vacation!

we were to get to Colorado and see our friends. We also looked out the window and guessed what we could see.

 

We came to the conclusion that we could see Colorado Springs, which is where Lauren’s parents live, and what we assume was a bunch of other nearby towns.

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The plane has landed! 

Our flight was pretty uneventful, we had some turbulence, that the flight attendants were spooked by, but honestly it wasn’t bad at all. It did cause one of the bathroom doors to fly open, but I bet it wasn’t closed all the way.

 

Once the plane had landed they told us we could turn off airplane mode, and we texted Lauren to let her know we had landed.

We got off the plane, and Mitchell went to the bathroom while I explored a nearby gift shop.

I looked for snacks but decided to just wait until we left the airport.

While walking to baggage claim, we found this guy, so we both decided to pose with him, I don’t have a copy of the photo of me, because it is on Mitchell’s phone, and I’m too lazy to ask for it. 😀img_7851

We wondered our way down the escalator, to the train, and then to baggage claim.

Once at baggage claim, we heard several people pointing and saying “They were on our flight!”

All day people were snapping photos of us, pointing, and cheering us on. The flight attendants, and everyone we came in contact with loved our outfits and Christmas spirit. How else would one travel on Christmas eve?? 😛

Our bags were the first off the plane (WIN!) and we headed out to get in the car with Lauren and Sidney!

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Lauren’s photo of her stocking goodies

Once we got to their house, we had a snack and went to bed, we were exhausted! We woke up the next day to a delicious breakfast cooked by both Sidney and Lauren, and enjoyed their company.

 

We all had agreed that we’d spend the day at home just relaxing. So we did, and it was wonderful. We opened stockings, ate yummy food and played games together.

later in the evening, Lauren’s parents came, we had dinner, opened some wonderful and

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Christmas Dinner, sorry, I had eaten most of it already

thoughtful gifts, and enjoyed the company. It truly was one of the best Christmases we’ve had, ever. Good food, good company, lots of happiness, and love. I am so grateful for Lauren and Gene inviting us into their home on such a major holiday! We are so lucky to have such loving and caring people in our lives!

 

Ken and Kathy (Lauren’s parents, two people I have always adored) brought some gifts for everyone, and some delicious Christmas dinner!

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A thoughtful ornament made by Lauren’s Family

After Christmas dinner we hung out a bit more and went to bed. We didn’t have any solid plans for the week, but I think the plan for Monday was to go into Denver and look at the Capitol building, get brunch and explore a little.

 

We woke up Monday morning, and Lauren told us that the Capitol building was closed, but we could still go into the city if we wanted, we ended up deciding to not do so, but we did go to the COOLEST museum Mitchell and I have been to.

Lauren took us into Denver to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

Boy was it busy there! So many people had the same great idea we had, but that didn’t stop us! We spent a whole 5 hours at the museum and still didn’t see everything. I’ve included some of the photos we took there, below.

We came home that night, and relaxed, played more games, and enjoyed good food.

img_8021Tuesday, we went into Denver, saw Lauren’s work, and went to the 16th Street Mall and

went into the cutest little store called I (heart) Denver and bought souvenirs for Mitchell’s mom and our friends Katy and Adam.

 

Then, we went to REI to rent snowshoes, for our snowventure the next day! The REI we went to was MASSIVE. As a Seattleite, I honestly have never seen an REI as huge as this one. It was amazing!

We came home after a very long day out (another 5 hours) without lunch, starving, and exhausted. We ate dinner (Noodle soup made by Lauren.) img_8036

After dinner, we sat down and worked on our D&D characters with Elisabeth and Lauren.

Lauren, Gene, Sidney and Elisabeth have been playing D&D for quite some time, and Lauren has been inviting me to play for just about as long as she’s been playing.

Mitchell and I discussed it and decided we wanted to give it a try while we were in Denver, so that night we sat down, created our characters, and played the first half of our very first D&D adventure!

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We were off to a rough start, both rolling 1s, but I ended up having much better luck the rest of the game and kicked major butt.

We played for about an hour that night, and had a blast, but by the end of the evening, we were exhausted. I went to bed after we finished D&D for the evening, Mitchell stayed up and played video games with Sidney.

The next day, Wednesday, We woke up early, layered up, and took the snowshoes up to the Rocky Mountains.

It was just Mitchell, Lauren and I, but we were all super excited to snowshoe together!

We packed up, got in the car and headed toward the mountains. Lauren took us to Estes Park. It was a little bit of a drive, but it wasn’t too bad. I enjoyed looking around, we drove through Boulder, and even drove past the hotel that inspired The Shining.

As we climbed higher we saw our first snow flurries (first for the entire visit, Denver didn’t get any snow, it was colder here in Seattle!)

We pulled into the park, only to have a ranger tell us it wasn’t safe for her car. He directed us to another area (Devil’s Gulch) to snowshoe. So we turned around and headed there. Sadly there wasn’t enough snow to snowshoe, but we did hike! We saw some amazing sights, and several elk! It was all around a great time!

We came home that evening, and went out to dinner at a vegan restaurant called Native Foods. (There’s one in Oregon, and I plan on visiting it!)  The food there was DELICIOUS, and I wish we had one locally!

After dinner,

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The last photo I took at Lauren’s house

we came back, finished out or D&D, I made butterbeer and then we headed to bed.

Thursday, we woke up, hung out, and Lauren and I went to return the snowshoes that we sadly didn’t get to use, and we came home, relaxed, since it was our last day there, and played games. I went to bed around 9pm. We had to be up and out of the house by 3:30 am.

We packed everything up that night, and said our goodbyes to Elisabeth, (Sidney was already in bed) and set our alarms for our early wake-up.

We sadly woke up, loaded up the car and headed to the airport before anyone else was awake for the day.

 

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Gene came with Lauren to drop us off. We said our goodbyes and headed in. The atmosphere in the airport this time wasn’t quite as chipper, and the lines were longer. We
waited 45 mintues to check our bags, and then 30 minutes through security. Then we had to ride the train to our flight. We got some breakfast at Dunkin Doughnuts, and then we got to the gate with just 5 minutes to spare before they boarded us.img_8243

Our flight home was uneventful, I slept most of it, and woke up just in time to see this beautiful view!

Overall, it was a wonderful way to spend our Christmas. Mitchell and I had a great time, and definitely plan on visiting again! We both agree that this was the best way to spend our favorite time of the year!

Below, are some photos I didn’t include in the post, mainly Lauren’s cat Pippin.

 

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“Finally I know now what it takes It takes money and airplanes”


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Photo taken by me, but was Mitchell’s vision. Friday Harbor October 2010. I’ll include a photo below showing how we captured this moment.

I’m back! Sorta? I didn’t actually go anywhere. So can you be “back” if you never actually left? Either way, here I am! 2016 has been incredibly busy for us. Many many changes!

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Here is the photo of me taking the above image. 

There hasn’t been a whole lot of downtime for me this year, and though I kinda enjoy being busy (who am I kidding, I love it) It’s nice to have a day of nothing with Mitchell.

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This year I made my very first blanket! I made it for someone who is a huge fan of the Seattle Super Sonics. I have to say, though it isn’t perfect, I think the project turned out really well, and the person we gave it to loved it! I’ve discovered sewing is really quite relaxing and it has helped me get through a few rather stressful weeks. I also made handmade catnip treats!

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We’ve also been able to play several new board games the past few months. If you didn’t know, I looooove playing board games.

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Forbidden Island

A few (several actually) months back my friend Lauren sent me a care package. Inside the care package was a copy of Forbidden Island. We loved it so much and played it any chance we got. Then, this last Christmas Mitchell got a copy of Forbidden Dessert. It is just as much fun as Forbidden Island, but slightly more complicated which is great!

 

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Forbidden Desert

Another game Mitchell got for Christmas was Exploding Kittens. We actually had a friend come over a few months back and introduced us to the game. I had heard of it online but we had never had a chance to play it. That’s another super fun game. We also recently got to play one of my favorite games, Munchkin!

There is a place near by, that lets us play games for free. So a few others we’ve been able to play are:

Sky Tango
Jaipur
Patchwork (I enjoyed this one. Mitchell did not.)
Hanabi
Ticket to Ride Europe (I had heard of this one, and always wanted to play it.)
Betrayal at House on the Hill (Our friend introduced us to this, and I LOVED it!)
Coup (Same friend introduced this one to us too, and I enjoyed it a lot!)

There have been several others, but I can’t seem to remember them at the moment.

If you have any questions or would like to suggest a game for us to play, just let me know!

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“A life lived in love will never be dull.”


It’s that time of year again! Mitchell and I will be celebrating our 7th anniversary this month…which means for a short while it’ll be acceptable for me to express just how much I love him in one of those sickly adorable, and annoying posts. So here goes.

Last year, I posted about our adventures and how far we’ve come. I’ve included a link in case you’re interested.

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Mitchell and I met almost 8 years ago, May 2008. It wasn’t until November 2008 that we started talking. He reached out to me first, and because I didn’t know him really well I was really hesitant. The friend I lived with at the time talked me into hanging out with him when he asked.

Obviously, if when he first asked, I knew where we’d end up I wouldn’t have hesitated. If I had truly known who he was I would have been thrilled that he even considered talking to me.

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Mitchell is just the sweetest and most loving person I’ve ever met. I am in awe each and every day at the capacity he loves others. He has taught me so much, and I am so incredibly lucky to have met him. Mitchell, has such a large heart, and I think even all our friends would tell you just how loving and kind he is. Over the years I’ve watched his relationship with my family (specifically my nieces and nephews) grow. Watching him with them, I know that he considers them his family too. He is such a wonderful influence on all 5 of my nieces and nephews, which is just another extension of how loving he is. He came into a family with a bunch of kiddos that were EXTREMELY energetic and he saw the relationship I had with each and every one of them.

I remember the first time he met them, he just kept telling me how awesome he thought it was that I was so close to all of them. That I would play board games, and throw water balloons and have nerf wars with them. I knew then, that once he had adjusted to having them in his life, he’d make an awesome addition to their lives.

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He’s so amazingly kind, and is always there to lift me up when I’m down. No, I don’t mean in the same cliche’ way everyone else does, I mean truly through and through. When I come home from a long exhausting day, or an emotionally draining day he’s always there to listen and talk to me.

He has this ability to make me smile no matter what is going on. When my stepdad died, he was there and sat up with me all night playing video games. When I fell asleep (on my then, twin sized blow up mattress… what can I say, I was poor…) He curled up on the floor next to me and held my hand.

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He has dreams and goals. Not just the typical boring ones, he has some beautifully creative hopes and goals for his life, and mine too! He’s conquering the fear that we all have, you know, the fear of not succeeding at something, and doing all that he can to complete those goals.

He is constantly thinking and working out new ways to get to where he hopes to be in 5 or 10 years…all while learning new things and coming up with new ideas for activities for him and I to do together, or even ideas for me to do while I’m at work!

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He’s so creative and an amazing artist. He doesn’t always believe me when I say that, but it is true. Sometimes he’s shy about his artwork, but to me, that is far better than rubbing it in everyone’s faces. Especially this day in age, everyone is trying to “make it big” via the internet or instagram. Mitchell is humble and though I know he knows deep down that he has a beautiful artistic eye, he’s humble about it.

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He loves me. I love him. That’s all we need in this crazy world. I know that every morning when I wake up, he’s there for me, and I certainly hope that he knows that I’ll always be there for him. 7 years. 7 short, yet long, fun but hectic years. 7 beautiful years together. Somehow I managed to snag the guy that is the most perfect addition to my life. I love everything about him, and I love how he so willingly puts up with my flaws.

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Every day I wake up with a smile on my face knowing that I get to experience life with him by my side.

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DIY – Your own autumn garland.


Guess what?! I have a DIY project for you on this autumn Sunday! It’s a cute, simple and fun idea for any home. Heck, even your children could help out! This is a great project to work on while you’re watching the final season of How I Met Your Mother, or Parenthood, or whatever show you love this year!

Autumn Garland
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What you’ll need:

  • Felt (Autumn colors prefered)
  • Scissors
  • Yarn (I used left over yarn from my Yarn Wreath.)
  • Needle
  • Time

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This is probably the easiest DIY project I’ve ever done… and have ever shared!
Your first step is to figure out what style of leaf you want… I chose one similar to those around our area. You’ll want to trace your shape on paper beforehand so you can get an idea. Cut it out to your liking. Me? Oh yeah I didn’t do all of that, thats what made this project so easy! I just bought a bunch of felt at Ben Franklin Crafts & used their wonderful die-cut center!
Once you have all your leaves cut out (make as many as you want!) Set them out into the pattern you want…


IMG_4036(As you can see I did this on the couch while watching the most recent season of Doctor Who.)

Now that you have your pattern figured out, it’s time to thread your needle. I found one intended for heavy duty sewing/mending, I’ve taken a photo of it for you. 🙂 Once you get your needle threaded, you’ll want to tie a knot at the end of your yarn… I kept mine on the actual roll of yarn until the end, but now would be a great time to figure out how long you want your garland to be!

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You’ll wanna lick the tip to your yarn, it’ll make it much easier to thread through.

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Once you’ve done that, you simply sew through your leaf. Here’s a photo of how I did it:

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Perfection isn’t necessary, I feel little changes make it more rustic, and more “real.” But if you want to be exact you, of course, can. Keep that up, sew sew sew each leaf. Once you’re done, tie a knot at the end of your garland and you’re set! Find a cute place to hang, or display & you’ll have all your guests complementing your work! (I also did one with pumpkins, I’ll share a photo of it if anyone would like one!)

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I, being from seattle, thought it’d look best next to our wonderful rainy day oil painting in our entry way!

 

 

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Christmas Adventures!


The whole crew

Over the past few months I have been working very hard planning an amazing Murder Mystery party for a group of some of our closest friends. The party was this past Saturday and I have to say, it was AMAZING. everyone did a great job playing their roles and we had so much fun! I think this will probably become a yearly thing now, just because it was so much fun.

I had my friend Andrew pick up my friend Jamie and myself Saturday a few hours before the party started and we got everything ready, cooked the dinner and decorated for the party.

Most everyone showed up by 7:30 and the party was in full swing by 8. I think everyone enjoyed themselves and had fun acting. It was a really great break from the “real world.”

We had “Pictures with Santa” after the party, and mug shots, as well as photos of our faces in a little cardboard cutout (see photos below for examples.) I made Lasagna and Salad, friends bought veggie and fruit platters and drinks, as well as yummy desserts! We even handed out awards for best dressed (me lol) Mr. Money Bags, and a few others. All in All I’m very happy with the turn out and the fun times we had!

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“Love means never having to say you’re sorry. However, it is with sincere regret that I must now kill all of you.”


Today I’m here to share with you, an amazing apple breakfast bread recipe!

I passed a loaf of this along to Mitchell’s parents, and gave some to my neighbor, I don’t know what the Smith’s thought, but our neighbors LOVED it.

It’s REALLY EASY and SUPER DELICIOUS. It makes a GREAT breakfast loaf. I think I’ll make this for Christmas. It’s great the day off but even better the day after, heated with butter. Yummmm.

What you’ll need:

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1/2 cup apple cider
2 1/4 cups chopped apples (Obviously cored, and peeled)

Pre-heat oven to 375 and grease your loaf pan. I managed 2 loafs out of this recipe, but it depends on the size of your pan.

Mix dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and cloves) in a bowl. I suppose most people would tell you to sift, but I never do and it turns out fine 🙂

In a large bowl,  cream together butter and sugars. Beat in eggs. Add in flour mixture alternately with cider- I did mine in thirds. Mix until everything is combined, but don’t over mix.

Next gently toss in and stir the apples.

Pour batter into loaf pan(s) and place in oven. Bake until toothpick comes out clean. About 50 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool (about 20 minutes) then remove from pan, place on wire rack to finish cooling and either enjoy or wrap up for consumption the next day.  I’m warning you now, it is AMAZING. It wont last long!