Monday, December 27, 2010

Sunriver bound!

We're on our way to Sunriver, where I'll test my luck at skiing. Crossing my fingers there'll be no broken bones this year!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

:. Happy Christmas .:

{ Wishing you a very Merry Christmas! }

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Smashing (Christmas Party) Success

Last night, Jeff and I hosted the first party in our new apartment. We agreed it’d be best to practice on our families, so we invited our parents, siblings and grandparents over for—in the words of Clark W. Griswold—a fun old-fashioned family Christmas.

Unlike the Griswolds, though, there were no disasters. Freddie didn’t fry himself beneath the Christmas tree, my grandparents didn’t bring cat food for dinner, and no one chased after a squirrel with a coat in one hand and a hammer in the other.

(If you haven’t seen Christmas Vacation, you’re probably lost. But my family’s chuckling.)

We ate pulled pork sandwiches and fiesta shrimp cocktails. We drank festive pear Bellinis. For dessert we munched on homemade caramel corn, cupcakes, cookies, and chocolatey treats. And when Mom whipped out the peppermint Schnapps, Jeff and his brother whipped out the Hershey's syrup. We had "peppermint patties," a tasty combo of chocolate syrup and liquor, which we poured into each others' mouths and laughed as it drizzled down our chins. We swished it around and cringed.

All in all, it was a smashing success!
{Thanks for coming ♥ }

{Freddie had fun, too.}

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Run! Run like the wind!

Merry (almost) Christmas!

This week I’m really getting into the deck-the-halls, hang-the-stockings spirit. (I don’t have a place to hang any stockings, but that doesn't crush my good mood.) Saturday and Sunday were busy with holiday parties—a sixty-person shindig at my aunt’s house in Gresham, and a smaller group at Jeff’s parents’ house in Lake Oswego, both with visits from Santa and gifts for the whole clan—plus a trip to the airport to get Christyn.

She flew home from Houston on Saturday, nearly missing the first leg of her flight. She says the freeway was closed, forcing her to take a detour, and she didn’t get in line at security until thirty minutes before the plane was scheduled to take off. When several security guards told her they couldn’t help her, that she’d have to stand in line and wait just like everybody else, some good Samaritans let her take their place in line, and she quickly climbed her way to the front. (If Christyn were like my dad or me? She would have been at the gate with two hours to spare—coffee in one hand and a good book in the other—detour or no detour.)

As she pushed her way through the line and forced her feet back into her winter boots after they’d been scrutinized under the x-ray machine, a little girl about eight or nine years old yelled, “Run! Run like the wind!”

And she did.

She fled to the gate with the Home Alone soundtrack ringing in her ears, images of the McCallisters racing through the Chicago airport flashing through her head.

She made the flight. And when she arrived at PDX, Mom, Dad, Jeff and I were waiting for her with a balloon that read “Welcome Back!” (Not quite the same sentiment as “Welcome Home,” Mom pointed out, but it worked.)

And now the whole family is home, and it’s time to deck the halls and hang the stockings and attend another Christmas party. (Jeff and I are hosting one for our families tomorrow. I'm staying home to cook and prep the apartment for fifteen people.)

(Stay tuned.)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Rainy Day + Tasty Treats + Dude, Where's My Car?

There's nothing like spending the first three hours of your day walking around in the pouring rain, searching for your car, then tracking it down at one of Portland's many towing companies, and then forking over $250 to get it back. All because it was parked in front of a measly driveway.

I would know.

Because that's how I spent my morning.

Luckily, my trusty roommate came to the rescue. Like any great roommate, he journeyed the half-hour home from work and drove me around the block, searching for my Jeep one last time. When I was positive it had been stolen, he called the City of Portland and confirmed it had only been towed. (Only.)

{He's so proud}

And now that my car is home, safe and sound, and I'm in my pajamas (at 7:30 p.m.), I think I'll whip up two cups of delicious hot chocolate and a batch of tasty popcorn treats for my roommate and me, just for fun.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Tree Extravaganza

Thanks to a delightful, freshly cut Noble, my apartment is beginning to look a lot like—you guessed it—Christmas! And because last year’s specimen wasn’t up to par—a four-foot tall synthetic decked with cheap red and green balls I found on sale at Walgreens doesn’t exactly warm my insides—I’m super excited about it. This one’s covered in ornaments that Jeff and I have acquired over the years, one from each Christmas since the mid-80s.

On Sunday, I tagged along with Jeff’s family to search for the perfect tree, which we’d place in the corner of our big, bright, apartment, right in front of the windows. I pointed at tall ones, short ones, fat ones and skinny ones, exclaiming, “This one! Over here!” Because they all look perfect to me. (A tree’s a tree.)

But not to Jeff.

He sees flaws in each that I choose, until we spot the crème de la crème.

After cutting it down—it’s Jeff’s first time with a saw—and tying it to the roof of an old Toyota Camry, and then untying it at Jeff’s parents’ house for a lesson in tree-blowing, and then tying it to the car again, and then stopping at Fred Meyer for a tree stand, and then adjusting the rope because the tree almost flies off on the freeway, and then untying it when we get to our building (finally), and then sawing another inch off the trunk (on a sidewalk on bustling Mississippi Avenue), and then lugging it upstairs via elevator, and then realizing we don’t have enough twinkling lights to strand around it, and then throwing our hands in the air and going to the Blazer game, then journeying to Fred Meyer at 9:30 p.m. for lights, and then decorating it until 12:30 a.m.—it's drop-dead stunning.

And well worth the hassle.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Tribute to a 12-0 season

There’s nothing much like the thunderous crowd at Autzen Stadium: a sea of green and yellow erupting with every blitz, bomb and touchdown. And on Saturday? I'll bet the same diehard fans went even wilder on Oregon State’s home turf. Our mighty Ducks thrashed the Oregon State Beavers, racking up our twelfth consecutive win of the season—for the first time in history.

I didn't go to the game, but I sure did watch it on ABC. At 12:30 p.m., Jeff and I arrived at a friend's house in Northwest Portland with champagne, orange juice, chips and dip, and for four hours we sat on the couch in our jerseys rooting for Darron Thomas and "Big Balls Chip" to lead our team to victory.

They did.

Later that night, fans wearing green and yellow swarmed the city. And at Gypsy, a 23-year-old took the opportunity to show his undying pride for the Ducks during his karaoke number: He shouted "Go Ducks" over and over again instead of singing the song he'd picked.

And the audience loved it.