Tuesday, December 22, 2009

'Tis the Season

Wishing all my faithful blog readers a very happy holidays, Merry Christmas and a joyous new year! See you on the flip side!

The Big Snow

I admit that last Friday in my Five for Friday, I was skeptical of the snow we were forecasted to get. I was still skeptical when I stopped by the grocery store Friday evening after work to pick up a few things just in case I actually had to cook at home Saturday and Sunday. My skepticism was decreasing only by a bit when the snow started falling around 9pm Friday night. By 3am Saturday morning, when I was awoken to someone snow blowing the sidewalk, I was a believer.

We got a lot of snow this weekend. A lot. 16" at the airport, which is about 0.5 miles from our place. Up to 20" in other places. Crazy snow. As I said to Brad, one of the top five snow's I've seen in my entire life, which isn't saying much since I lived in Florida for seven years.

The worst part was being stuck indoors for three days. Yesterday I finally begged Brad to please walk with me to the awesome chili place about six blocks away. I couldn't take being cooped up in the house any more (not to mention I was getting a little tired of cooking three meals a day!)

The roads are still a mess, such a mess that we probably won't even attempt to drive until we have to go to the airport Thursday morning. I think the real problem is that there is so much snow and just no place to put it. Plus it warms up during the day, melting the snow a little, only to have it refreeze into a sheet of ice at night when the temperatures dip into the 20's.

Regardless, I love snow. Even a lot of it. Even a blizzard-esque lot of it! I love it even more when the federal government is closed, as it was yesterday, giving me a three day weekend. Oh, and a special shout out to Brad, who is bringing me lunch to my office because I don't want to deal with D.C.'s barely shoveled sidewalks. He's the best :)

it begins... errr... continues

kitchen windows with snow stuck between the storm windows and screens

homemade corn chowder for dinner

a beautiful day Sunday morning reveals a heck of a lot of snow!

Brad's car, pre-digging out

car post digging out
(thanks to the awesome neighbors who lent us their shovels!)
a look down the street
my poor car... we figure it will be un-buried by about April

Friday, December 18, 2009

Five for Friday

1. Well, the word in the street in D.C. is that we're going to get some mega snow tonight and tomorrow. No, not the nice dusting that we got two weeks ago (see below), but some major 10-16 inches. Some people say up to two feet. I am personally skeptical, but am still planning on swinging by the grocery store so we have enough food to eat in tomorrow and Sunday. I think I'm also going to make some of my Dad's famous corn chowder (famous because I love it!), as it just seems the right thing to do in wintry conditions. We'll see what we end up with!

2. Last Saturday, I spent the morning chocolate-ing. This family tradition involves melting massive amounts of chocolate (milk, dark, white) and dipping whatever you can get your hands on in it. This year I made:
  • Oreos dipped in milk chocolate, drizzled with white chocolate
  • Oreos dipped in dark chocolate
  • Oreos dipped in white chocolate
  • Pretzel rods dipped in milk chocolate, drizzled with white chocolate
  • Pretzel rods dipped in dark chocolate
  • Mini milk and dark chocolate shapes in molds (which my husband apparently melted in the dishwasher... guess this year was the last one for those!)
  • Dried apricots dipped in dark chocolate ("healthy")
  • Peanut butter cups
  • Cups filled with half white, half milk chocolate
  • Cups filled with milk chocolate covered marshmallows

We gave away 90% of it as gifts to co-workers and family. The other 10% we have been noshing on, trying to make it last. Earlier in the month, I made two pans of my infamous nutmallow (bars with milk chocolate, cashews and marshmallows) - one to send my brother with his Christmas package, one to give away to people. Unfortunately, the later of the two batches became my breakfast almost every morning so... um, sorry to those who didn't get any this year! Here's a lousy picture from my phone of this year's haul:

3. Earlier this week, we booked flights to Tampa to visit Brad's grandparents over MLK Day weekend in January and to Barbados in February. A shot of warm weather is going to be really nice right around then (although it probably won't be too overly warm in Tampa!).

4. Just heard on the news that we might get *thundersnow* (literally a thunderstorm that produces snow instead of rain). I KNEW the end of the world was drawing near! And to think that I spent all that money on holiday gifts for people...

5. So Christmas is next week, but it's feeling distinctly un-Christmas-like here in D.C. I blame the Senate and their health care reform bill. There are too many people who are having to work too hard this close to the holidays because of it. I worked on the Hill a long time and have never seen it this hardcore, this stubborn, this broken. It's a little disheartening, really. Can't we all just get along?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Five for Friday

1. We gave this little bloggity-blog a shout out in our Christmas letter this year, so a big hello to anyone who has decided to follow our crazy lives because of that.

2. Speaking of Christmas letters and cards, we sent all ours out at the beginning of the week - about 80 in all. We have gotten two cards so far this year. That's it. Makes me sad actually, to check the mail on a daily basis and just get pizza coupons and credit card offers. Maybe it's the economy. "Or maybe it's people using the economy as an excuse because they're too lazy to send cards." <-- that last sentence is a direct quote an older woman at church told me last week. Hilarious.

3. Since I know you've been wondering, a squirrel update for you. They came and set traps on Tuesday morning. As of Thursday night, they had trapped one squirrel a day since Tuesday. What I don't understand is how they know the squirrel's they're trapping were the ones that were in the attic (no the traps aren't in the attic, they're on the roof by where the squirrel(s) are coming in and out). The good news is that we haven't heard any in the attic since Tuesday. The bad news is that it has been insanely cold this week and I'm now worried that the squirrels are getting trapped in the evening, drawn into the cage by the promise of food, and then they have to spend all night in a freezing cage when it is 23 degrees outside. Just doesn't seem right... not that it was right for them to be in the attic either though. Hopefully the whole thing will be over soon.

4. As you saw from previous posts, we did indeed get our tree last weekend and it is all up and decorated. It smells INSANELY good. It's also drinking up a storm, but that's okay. As long as it keeps smelling good.

5. As I mentioned earlier, winter has arrived in DC. We had a little snow last Saturday, which was lovely, largely because I didn't leave the house all day. It has been cold this week though. Wicked cold, as they would say up in Boston (when they're not complaining about the Patriots lousy play this year). I actually like winter, I really do. The clothing is so much more stylish and I absolutely hate sweating. But I would be lying if I didn't admit that I would actually much rather be in Barbados right now, with my toes in the sand and a frozen drink in my hand. Because the drink wouldn't be frozen due to the weather...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Deck the halls and all that jazz

Last weekend we decked the halls and the balcony and the tree for the holidays. I have to admit that while we were pulling everything down from the squirrel infested attic, I was thinking that it all seemed kind of silly, since we'd have to put it all away in three weeks. But it is nice now to have everything up and to sit in the evening's in the glow of the tree. Some photos from the decorating process:

B decorating the balcony. Horrible pictures, but it was 35 degrees outside and I was not sticking around long enough to make it look pretty!

finished balcony, all decorated
hanging 700 lights on our 8-ish foot tree. I participated in a supervisory role, while watching Monday Night Football from the couch :)
the topping of the tree with the hideous star!

Harold, the Christmas penguin, guards the tree
we love our pretty tree! even the funky top!
some new ornaments for this year...
from our anniversary trip to Seattle ornament from Brad's first Christmas
(several of Brad's old ornaments migrated to our house from his parent's house this year)
Cedar Point trip
finally found a Barbados ornament we liked
Brad in 2nd grade!
last year's White House Christmas ornament

Monday, December 7, 2009


I love art. I love art museums (Brad is learning to appreciate them). While we were in NYC, we decided to spend Friday afternoon at the Museum of Modern Art, also known as MoMA. It was a great museum, with lots of classic works. And, unfortunately, lots of not so classy people. Eh, what do you expect? It was still loads of fun though. I could have spent hours walking around, sitting on a bench, taking it all in. Especially enjoyable was the special exhibit they had on Monet's waterlilies series. Wow. Massive and amazing.
B observing
van Gogh.
loving the art, not the crowds!

Friday, December 4, 2009

New York Icons

Central Park
Empire State Building
Little Italy
Rockefeller Center
New Year's Eve ball in Times Square (now up year-round!)
Chrysler Building

Five for Friday

1. Brad and I aren't really "movie people," but it looks like there are a ton of good ones coming out soon. The one with George Clooney (hubba, hubba!) "Up in the Air" looks great, and not just because I love to travel. The one with Robert DeNiro "Everybody's Fine"also looks great. In addition, I've heard that "On Education" (a more indie film) is also great. Luckily the weather is getting lousy, so movies are the perfect way to spend a Saturday!

2. Speaking of movies, I feel like it is only appropriate this time of year to queue up those holiday movies and get in the spirit. Brad and I have been watching DVR'd Christmas specials in the evenings when there is nothing else on TV, and I think we might bust out a Christmas movie or two this weekend. Two of my favorites are "Love Actually" and "White Christmas." What's your favorite holiday movie?

3. I think we're going to get our Christmas tree on Sunday. It's always such a process, the picking out, the standing back and judging, looking like you actually know what you're doing. Then wedging the thing into the car, carrying it up four flights of stairs, trying to get it straight in the stand and then not losing all the needles in the process of getting it into the house. THEN, of course, you have to let it fall and warm up for 24 hours before you can even decorate it. Yet, I love having a live tree. My most depressing Christmas's where the ones when I had a fake tree. Think we can top last year's? I do :)
4. It has been a very interesting week at work. Lots of changes going on... It's like they say, the only constant in life is change!

5. So squirrels. We have squirrel(s) living, or at least playing, in our attic. Wildlife Specialist Paul will be stopping by this afternoon to "evaluate the situation" and possibly lay traps. It's good times. I look forward to getting a full night sleep without hearing a squirrel digging into my bedroom ceiling.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Macy's celebrates Christmas and Thanksgiving at the same time!

Clearly, you'd be insane if you were in New York City and didn't visit the ginormous Macy's store there - in fact, the world's largest department store.

You'd be even more insane if you didn't visit during the holidays when their most fantastic decorations are up.

You've be even more insane if you were there on Thanksgiving and didn't go see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Yet, that last one almost didn't happen! Luckily, my Dad is pushy (like the native New Yorker he is), so we braved the crowds, found a spot two blocks from the actual parade route, watched the balloons float down Central Park West and had a fabulous time! Some people moved/I kind of nudged them out of the way and I stood on top of a security barrier, giving me an even better view of the parade.

I would be lying if I said that I didn't join in on the squeels of joy when Santa came down that street, officially kicking off the Christmas season!

inside the ginormous Macy's

the new location of the previously located big green square on Herald Square
(now relocated since the parade doesn't go down Broadway any more)
outside the ginormous Macy's
Parade time! Mickey floats down Central Park West
the crowds at Columbus Circle
la la la la la la, la la la la la