December 28, 2009

Merry Christmas from TEXAS!

This year we did Christmas in Texas to spend time with the Howe family! Here are some brief highlights of what we managed to cram into our quick vacation:

For some reason our gate (and only our gate) was decorated like a castle, complete with a knight in shining armor.




Life Lesson #58: Do not fall asleep while doing a sudoku puzzle on your tray table - it may transfer to your forehead :)



We ate - A LOT. Dave got a "birthday pickle" from his brother Tim that was probably the size of my forearm.


Ally and Jack (niece and nephew) introduced me to the world's yummiest chocolate chip cookies at Potbellys. We had fun eating together, and I'll admit that I may have been the one who told Jack to put ice down Bill's shirt :)



We saw a couple movies - Avatar in 3D and Sherlock Holmes. Dave and I were both amazed by how "real" Avatar's graphics were. We loved it and definitely recommend to others!


We were suprised by a White Christmas! On Wednesday it was sunny with temps in the 70s - I wore shorts and we played a game of tennis with Tim and Cindy. The next day was cold and when we came out of whirlyball, flakes were falling. By Christmas morning there was at least an inch on the ground!


We reconnected with friends - gosh we miss living near you guys!


It was really fun to see everyone and we hope to make a trip back soon. We love and miss you Howes!

December 21, 2009

Christmas Downtown!

Every year my family goes downtown to see the lights, ride the carousel, and visit the gingerbread display at the Sheraton Hotel.

In front of the star over Macy's


The giant toy train display in Macy's corner window


The carousel at Westlake Center - yes we probably are too old to be riding, but we're never ones to pass on some fun :)

A big boy riding on a very small horse

The theme of the Gingerbread Village this year was Christmas Movies. All the houses are huge and amazingly intricate, but here are a few of my favorites:

A Christmas Story, complete with leg lamp

The side panel of Muppet Christmas Carol - I wonder how long it took them to sort through all the Jelly Bellies to create this...

Nightmare Before Christmas

Polar Express

Merry Christmas Everyone!

December 20, 2009

Skis in Rain Guy (& Girl)

This was us on Saturday. It was raining, but we have season passes so we are going to use them! This describes things pretty accurately:




December 14, 2009

Blind Sided by New Moon



On Saturday night Dave and I went to see The Blind Side. It turned out to be a bit of an emotional roller coaster:

We left our house a little late and when we got to the theater our show had already started. The box office gave us tickets to New Moon instead so we could get into the theater. We were relieved it wasn't sold out.

We went into the theater for Blind Side. The previews had started and the place was packed. Luckily the two seats in the middle back row were just holding coats - not being reserved. We were really, really glad we didn't have to sit on the front row.

After taking our seats, there were still several previews to sit through. After the first few, we starting to sense a theme: teenage romances. First Dear John, followed by Remember Me, then Letters to Juliet. Not what you would expect to see for a football movie... We were a little confused.

Then there was a preview for New Moon, or that's what we thought. Bella was standing in a field with Edward, it panned to a mirror, then they were staring at each other and started breathing heavily, and then we realized that this wasn't a preview but the start of the movie. We somehow went in the wrong theater.

But that couldn't be right- our tickets said New Moon, but we swore we went into the right theater. It certianly explained the strange previews. We didn't really want to walk out though, since we were in the middle and had already climbed over everyone on the way in. We had no idea what to do.

Then we looked around the theater - there were way too many men for this to be New Moon. You could see heads looking for the exits and a murmur could be heard throughout the theater. Apparently we weren't the only ones who had been duped. We were starting to feel less like idiots.

A theater rep came into to inform us that the wrong movie had been loaded and Blind Side would start soon. To compensate us for our trouble, everyone in the theater would receive complimentary movie passes. We were ecstatic.

About 40 minutes after the original scheduled start time, our movie finally began. We loved it - a great date night and now we can see something again next week FOR FREE!

December 10, 2009

Crystal clear and cold, cold, cold!

Seattle's typical cloud cover lifted last week, making the skies uncharacteristically clear and the weather uncharacteristically cold. I think I'm starting to develop permanent goosebumps!

I have, however, enjoyed the break from the rain and the amazing sunsets. How am I supposed to work when it looks like this out the windows by my desk??







December 8, 2009

Christmas Date

Last night Dave and I enjoyed some FREE holiday entertainment!

First stop was the Ice Arena in Bellevue. Normally skating and rentals would be $10/person, but thanks to Bank of America,we went for free! Our skating skills are pretty pathetic, and it took a couple laps before we felt confident enoughto leave the wall. Soon we were dodging children, having gliding contests, and pulling each other around the rink. Best part of the evening - no one fell down!

This isn't the best shot of us, but we were lucky to get a picture at all - it was FREEZING and the camera was not cooperating. We would turn it on, immediately press the button, and just hope it would have enough juice to take a picture. Brrrr!


Next we drove to the Garden d'Lights, also in Bellevue. This attraction is apparently a very popular destination for little kids and old people. The light displays were pretty amamzing and we had a great time looking around.


We are standing right in front of a "grape vineyard" in this picture



The lady at the information desk told us that this tree has 12,500 lights and took 350 hours to put together - WOW!!



To wrap up our evening, we stopped at Best Buy on the way home to look at laptops (mine broke) and cameras. It was supposed to be an in-and-out trip, but we spent almost an hour in there! Who knew taking picture of each other with the display cameras could be so fun??

December 5, 2009

Joy to the World!

I finally finished! Actually I finished a couple weeks ago, and good thing too, or there would have been no place to eat Thanksgiving dinner at the cabin :)

This is probably the hardest puzzle I own. You may be thinking, "The hardest? That doesn't look too bad." Don't be deceived. The continents aren't that bad, but the oceans are a BEAST. This puzzle is a photomosiac, so each piece has 3-4 teeny tiny pictures on it. Thus, to put together the big blue mass, you have pick up a piece that has has a picture of a woman in a chaise lounge or an eagle or a white boat, seach the box to find that one little picture, and then put the piece on the table approximately where it is supposed to go. Evetually the pieces start to hook together. It is as painstaking as it sounds, but well worth it in the end.

Behold my pride and joy!