Holiday Celebrations

Well, now that we’re more than a week into the new year, I figured it was about time I got around to sharing some photos and stories from my holiday season. Derek and I didn’t go to back to Washington for Christmas this year because we have this expensive thing called a wedding that we’re saving up for. But, even though I missed our families, we really made the best out of it.

Our holiday season kicked off with a potluck and gift exchange with some of our awesome friends. It was a perfectly low-key get-together filled with delicious food and lots of laughs. D and I had to bounce early to catch the Seahawks game, but we truly enjoyed the day.

Dec 1The next weekend was full of Christmas cheer: I saw The Nutcracker with my lady loves and then we celebrated Lisa’s birthday with an Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl. I’ve never gotten into the ugly sweater theme in the past, but this year I was all in. And it ended up being such a fun night; definitely in the top 5 night’s out of the year. Those Christmas tree sunglasses brought out the gangsta in me. 🙂

For the actual Christmas holiday, D and I piled into my grandparent’s car and roadtripped to Tennessee to visit my Aunt and Uncle. It took us a day and a half of driving each way–and honestly it wasn’t too bad. I’m not a big road trip person, but the drive was easy, the car was comfortable and I had endless entertainment on my iPhone.

Dec 2We spent a lot of our time just hanging out at home which was really nice. One night we went out for a group dinner in Knoxville. The next day we spent time in Gatlinburg. D and I tasted moonshine and rode a (slightly terrifying) skylift so we could get a good view of the Smoky Mountains. It was a cool experience–but as soon as we got to the top, it started to rain so we pretty much called it a day after that.

True to Anderson tradition, my Aunt bought us all new pajamas to wear to bed on Christmas Eve. But after giving out the jammies, she couldn’t resist and ended up giving us the rest of our presents that evening too. On Christmas day, we had a family breakfast, lounged around and then some of their friends came over for Christmas dinner and boardgames.

Dec 3We left Tennessee the morning of the 27th which got Derek and I back to Boston with just enough time to grocery shop and unpack before meeting friends at a bar for the Hawks game. I was never more thankful to work from home than I was that Monday morning.

For New Year’s Eve (also our anniversary), Derek and I joined a gym, cooked dinner at home and then met up with our football friends for drinks to ring in the New Year. I usually have high expectations for NYE and then end up feeling let down. But this year, we went with the flow and ended up having a great time. I got to wear heels and a NYE crown, drink champagne and kiss my boo at midnight–everything I needed to make it a success, but without the hangover that comes with bigger celebrations. It was the perfect way to end the year.

I’ve got another post marinating in my head about my intention for 2015, so stayed tuned. More on that coming soon…

xoxo,

A

Advertisements

Oh hi….

Remember when I used to blog? Well, I’m ready to get back into it. I’m gonna start this off with a speedy-quick recap of the last nine months. Sound good?

September and October

Image

  • Lauren’s beautiful wedding
  • A visit from D’s parents
  • Electric Run 5K
  • Meeting my precious nephew
  • Not pictured: An overnight trip to Salem with my ladies

November and December

Image

  • A trip to NYC
  • Home for Christmas
  • We’re engaged!
  • SEA-HAWKS (Thanks for the awesome tickets Dad)
  • Not pictured: Thanksgiving, Ugly Sweater 5K

January and February

Image

  • Ringing in the new year with my favorite people (and celebrating 5 years with D)
  • Seahawks win the Superbowl
  • Aunty Sharon and Uncle B move to Tennessee 😦
  • Surprise engagement party for D and I
  • Not pictured: Tubing with friends

March and April

Image

  • Work trip to Mexico…not so bad, right?
  • Rebecca visited!
  • Pentatonix
  • New shoes, new habits
  • Not pictured: Easter with Gram and Gramps

I’m a little bummed that I took such a long break from blogging. As you can see, some really amazing things happened since last summer and they definitely deserve more than a bullet point. But at least it’s better than nothing.

May’s shaping up to be a great month. I’ve got a road trip, an epic concert and a visit from my cousin to look forward to over the next few weeks. Stay tuned!

Heyo

Hi friends and family! Everything is great with me so don’t be alarmed by my lack of blog posts. I’ve just been busy. Busy with Christmas preparations. Busy enjoying Derek’s winter break. Busy with work and yoga and cooking. Sometimes it’s just too much to try to document life at the same I’m living it. I’m not going to make any promises about when things will get back to normal around here, but they will eventually.

Happy Christmas to you all! I hope you’re thoroughly enjoying the holiday season.

-A

Vegan Cookie Bake-a-Thon

Over the weekend, I spent time in Connecticut with my Aunt. In about seven hours we turned this:

Into this:

I scaled my Christmas cookie platter way back from last year, but I think these five varieties make a nice little group. Between batches, we also managed to fit in several cups of Gluhwein and a couple rounds of Skipbo. I’d say it was a pretty amazing weekend.

Hope your weekend was wonderful too,

A

Christmas 2010 Recap

This is only the second year for as far back as I can remember that I haven’t woke up on Christmas morning at my mom’s house. The first time was two years ago and it happened on accident. During a grad school break, I decided to fly East and visit with my family for a week before Christmas. But that was the year that Portland and Seattle got SO MUCH snow. When I went to check for my flight home on December 22nd, the desk attendant told me that there were no available flights until December 26th. So my mom and little sisters were bummed, but at least I was with family and not stranded at the airport. And they knew I would be home eventually, even if it was a little later than planned.

This year, though, we all knew I wouldn’t be there. And that I probably wouldn’t be able to visit for some time. I mailed my gifts home to my sisters and niece. And my mom mailed my stocking plus gifts to me. We made it work. It was different for me, and probably different for them too, but I think we all had a lovely Christmas.

Christmas celebrations started on Christmas Eve for us. Derek, Aunty Sharon, Uncle Bryan and I bundled into the car and drove to South Windsor where my grandparents live. We made a quick stop at the nursing home where my great grandmother lives to bring her some of the cookies I baked and wish her a Merry Christmas. Grammy and her roommate both have a wicked sweet tooth so they happily took in the cookies and they seemed to be in good spirits.

finished cookie tray- I made 12 kinds!

We had a little extra time so Aunty Sharon and I picked up a few items at Dress Barn (I needed new clothes for my new job :)) and then we headed to my grandparents house. Grandma had 19 people over (all family- cousins, Aunts, Uncles, etc.). As I’ve come to expect from the women in my family, there was way too much food. Like 18 different types of appetizers or something crazy like that. But, surprisingly, much of was eaten. There was gift exchange; I enjoyed watching the little kids open their presents. I received a few nice things, including a nifty kitchen appliance that has different plates to cook a variety of food (will come in handy once I get my own apartment). I love being around my family, especially when we have big get-togethers, so I thought Christmas Eve was perfect.

After a few hours at my grandparent’s house, we came back to Woodstock and Uncle B’s kids (Jackie and Jon) and their significant others came too. We drank Gluhwein and ate more food and played games. It was fun, but I was tired. We ended up staying up past midnight and at that point Aunty S decided she couldn’t wait any longer for Derek and I to open our stockings. She did an awesome job with both of our gifts (we got Dexter seasons 3 and 4!) and after many thank-you’s we all finally went to bed.

On Christmas Day we went to Uncle B’s brother’s house. There was more food and more wine and more game playing. I really enjoying meeting and talking with Uncle’s nephew and his wife. They are a few years older and both went to school in Boston so they had some good advice for me as I start looking for places to live near my work. We left around 7, but we were all so tired it felt like 11.

And yesterday my Aunt’s good friend and co-worker came over with her fiance and dog (who is Reny’s best friend) and we ate more food while watching the Patriots game. There was seriously too much food- my Aunt loves hosting so sometimes she gets a little out of control when planning the menu. But it was a good time. The blizzard started around noon, so I watched the snow fall. I wasn’t too concerned about getting to work because I know that they take better care of the roads on the East Coast than Seattle, but I was a little relieved when my boss emailed me and asked me to wait until Tuesday to start. I was mostly worried about under-estimating the amount of time it would take to get there and ending up late for my first day.

Derek and I played Whoville-opoly (the grinch version of Monopoly) and I lost twice. I’m never playing that game with him again. We settled in with some Dexter episodes and had a low-key evening, which we’ll probably do again tonight.

The long Christmas weekend was everything I needed, minus my family back West. I had a wonderful time with my extended family but I’m hoping that I have the option of being in Washington for Christmas next year.

Know that you’re all loved and missed,

A

 

Merry Christmas to Me!

I got the best Christmas present I could imagine today: a job!!! Yup, I’m no longer unemployed. And the offer came just in time for me to take advantage of the after-Christmas sales to supplement my wardrobe and start buying the things I’ll need (or want) when I get my own apartment.

The scoop:

I’m the Marketing and Communications Coordinator for iPROMOTEu, a company that offers administrative support to distributors of promotional products. So it’s a very niche market- but that’s ok. I’m essentially in charge of all the marketing efforts. And since I’m the only staff member in the marketing department, it makes me the head of the department by default.

It’s pretty much in Framingham, MA which is 20 miles west of Boston. So that means something like an hour and half commute from my Aunt’s house until I decide where I want to live. It’s a salaried position and comes with all the benefits I could expect. And I start on Monday!!

Some of the things I’ll do in this role:

-write/edit all their copy: newsletters, brochures, press releases, articles for print publication, etc.

-create and manage social media usage

-maintain their company website

-collaborate on advertising campaigns

And a bunch of other stuff that I think is cool. So I’m beyond excited. And so so relieved that I scored a job before running out of money and turning into a beggar.The only negative side is that this means I won’t be coming back to Washington to visit in January. But I’m sure you all understand.

Here’s to the start of a happy, happy Christmas weekend! Love to everyone!

My Thoughts On Snow

There has been talk by the local weather people that Connecticut could get some serious snow in the next week. I think the biggest storm is too far out to sea to affect us, so the greatest concern is gone. But there are a few more chances we’ll be under a blanket of white for Christmas.

And while I realize that snow can be a little annoying- messing up travel plans, requiring manual labor to shovel or blow it, etc.- I can’t help but get excited every time it’s predicted. Maybe I’m still a kid. Or maybe it’s because snow was a rarity in my Pacific Northwest childhood. Whatever the reason, I love snow just as much now as I did in elementary school when it meant no school and, instead, we could play outside all day. I think it’s beautiful and serene. I love how my corner of the world looks and feels so much quieter and slower when covered in snow. And it’s fun to play in. I still like sledding and snow angels but now I also love skiing. To me, snow makes winter seem real and present.

I don’t need to have snow all the time. I think that would ruin its special quality. But I do hope that Connecticut sees a few snowfalls this winter. As long as a storm doesn’t keep Derek from coming to see me tomorrow, I say “Let it snow!!”

Dec. 21st Update: Fish, fish I got my wish! It started snowing last night and the flurries are still floating in the air. And Derek came down a day early so no matter how much it snows, it won’t keep him from me.

Weekend Baking

The weather yesterday was awful- so much rain and heavy wind (enough that it knocked our power out for a minute). There was no point in being outside on such a nasty day, so I spent much of the day in kitchen baking. Between yesterday and Saturday this is what I finished:

Shortbread

Pecan Tassies

 

Gumdrop Squares

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Now that I’m posting the pictures, it doesn’t seem like a lot. But it sure felt like a lot of work. I also made the dough for Russian Teacakes (little balls covered in powdered sugar) yesterday so I’ll finish those today. And I’m thinking about making Nanaimo Bars too. I’ve never made them before so I’m not sure how they will turn out.

And as I promised, here is a picture our decorated Christmas tree. I thought it was cute when Uncle B and I picked it in the field, but it’s even better in the house. Perfect! (Sorry for the picture quality, it’s my cell phone camera)

My plan for the rest of the week is more of the same: Workout-Bake-Apply for jobs-Repeat as necessary. My Aunt and Uncle are hosting for the neighborhood Christmas Crawl on Friday so I’m hoping to have most of the cookies made by then so we can share. And she’s in Mexico until Wednesday so it’s rather quiet around the house. And it’s too cold and stormy to go outside anyways.

Until next time,

A

Baby It’s Cold Outside

It’s so much colder here than winter in Washington! I think I want to stay unemployed until April so that I don’t have to leave the house. Well, not really. But it’s THAT cold. I knew it would be colder, but I guess I didn’t realize what that would feel like. I was not prepared.

It’s been awhile since I wrote- partially because I didn’t feel like I had anything to report, partially because I just wasn’t feeling the blog. All that’s irrelevant though because I’m back now.

So we have two weeks until Christmas!! Let me remind you how much I love Christmas- the decorations, the festivities, the baking, the shopping and gift wrapping. And most of all, How the Grinch Stole Christmas– cartoon-style. Best. Christmas. Movie. Ever. Sadly, I haven’t watched it yet this year, but I will. Probably several times in one day.

Aunty Sharon has been doing a fabulous job of indulging my Christmas spirit. The Sunday after Thanksgiving, we stood outside in the below-freezing cold and watched the annual Putnam Light Parade. It was cute. A little more parade-like than the Rainier Round-Up Days I grew up with, but only a little bit more. Many of the floats where just utility trucks from local businesses dressed in lights, but it was fun.

Last weekend we saw A Christmas Carol at the local playhouse. It was well done. Shorter than I expected (about an hour) but festive and entertaining.

This weekend we’ll be decorating the tree Bryan and I picked and cut yesterday (I promise photos next post). And Aunty Sharon and I will start our Christmas baking extravaganza. Every December my mom bakes dozens of cookie varieties to eat and share on Christmas. It has and will probably continue to be one of my favorite Christmas activities. Since living on my own, I’ve scaled it down quite a bit but managed to do some of my own Christmas baking. This year, with my Aunt’s help, we’re going big. My Grandma is hoping to come by next weekend to give us a hand. I think we have 14 flavors on the agenda, which is still a lot fewer than my mom will be making but she has three adorable little helpers and a culinary education so I can’t compete with that.

In other news, I’ve found a way to make a little money. I’ve babysat for couple my Aunt knows through work twice now. I actually really enjoy it. The kids, 3 1/2 and almost 7, are well behaved, smart and fun. It’s definitely not frequent enough to quit my job search but it helped pay for Christmas gifts.

I haven’t forgotten about my What’s Cooking section of the blog. The week after Thanksgiving we went out for dinner. And this week I was in the New Hampshire visiting Derek and had no way to post the photos and recipe for the stuffed peppers I made. So I’m saving it for next week.

Also, I’m considering a short trip home in January. I haven’t committed yet as I’m trying to determine if is financially-responsible or if it will interfere with my job search. My Dad is looking into an option that could ease the financial problem. If that works out, I’d be willing to give up a week of job-hunting without too much guilt because I miss you all so much! I’ll keep you posted whether I’m coming home or not.

So aside from my state of unemployment, all is well in Connecticut. I’m thoroughly enjoying Christmas time. Derek and I are happy and in love. My family continues to be overly generous and a joy to be with. Yep, I’m a pretty content girl.

Hope you’re all having a happy December!

Choose a Topic

Give me your email and I'll make sure you know any time there is a new post.

Join 146 other followers