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…and we’re back!

January 6, 2011

Happy New Year!  I can’t believe that Christmas has already come and gone and that we are in 2011 already!  We have had such a busy past couple of weeks…which has led to my severe blog negligence.  To make some long stories short (which I’m sure I will remedy!), in the past couple of weeks we…

1. Brainstormed/took our first Christmas card photo (coming soon!)

2. Saw my brother who came to visit from Singapore!

3. Had a wonderful (voiceless) Christmas Eve working at church and celebrating with my family

4. Traveled to Colorado to visit Mitch’s family

5. Soaked in a natural hot spring (me)/ went skiing (Mitch)

6. Went snowshoeing through the beautiful Rocky Mountains

7. Rang in the New Year in a cozy mountain cabin

7. Got a new car

8. Drove our new car from Colorado to Pittsburgh

9. Stayed overnight in a town called Booneville (this place is real)

10. And last but not least…executed our first Christmas stocking tradition (and I love it even more than I thought I would!)

All of that said, some of these deserve an explanation which you know I won’t hesitate to give.  I pray that you had a wonderful Christmas with your family celebrating the birth of our Savior!

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…the stockings we hung by the (bookcase) with care…

December 17, 2010

One of my favorite things about being (somewhat) newly married is the chance to create our own new family traditions.  This year, we have a couple new ones that we are instilling into our Young family.  My personal favorite is sending out a photo Christmas card (we wanted so badly to do this last year but decided in January it was too late…ha!)  We had so much fun brainstorming and taking the picture this year…I promise to post our card on here as soon as we get them back (ok, so maybe I’m still a little late in the game!).  Another we have thought of is our own invented stocking tradition.  Mitch and I have decided (and I love this!) that every year our gifts to each other must fit in our stockings.  Last year, Mitch and I were given these cute matching stockings as a gift.

Now, you might be thinking to yourself that this particular idea seems limiting and maybe isn’t the best idea if we wanted to get each other multiple gifts.  But, there is a little catch.  If one of us buys a gift for the other that would not physically fit into the stocking, we have to think of a creative way to make it fit.  For example, if I bought Mitch a new coat, I might put gloves and a hat in his stocking (along with all the other fun little things that go in stockings) with a little note (if it’s me, probably rhyming) that said where to find the rest of the set.  I can’t wait to see what we do with this over the years!  I’ll have to let you all know how it goes the first time around!

A Christmas (Tree) Story

December 3, 2010

Around Christmastime during our sophomore year of college, Mitch and his roommate decided they needed to add a little Christmas cheer to their fraternity hall.  They proceeded to go to Walmart where they found an on-sale $20, pre-lit, 6.5ft. artificial tree.  A couple more dollars later, they had a tree skirt, some silver and red bulbs and they were on their way.  Now, you can imagine this tree, although not the highest of quality, spruced up their college dorm room quite a bit.  They appropriately decorated the bulbs carefully with their fraternity letters and it made their 10×10 dorm room quite festive (and a little more cozy 🙂 ).  Mitch kept this tree with him after its first Christmas and proceeded to put it up for the next couple of years in his subsequent dorm rooms.  It was hilarious to see where they managed to fit it in their tiny spaces each year.

Last year for our first married Christmas, Mitch and I spent a little time debating whether to get a real tree or an artificial one.  Should we buy an artificial tree when we might want a larger one when we buy a house?  Should we carry a real tree with all its pine-scented fragrance up two flights of stairs to our apartment?  Then a lightbulb went off in Mitch’s head–“Hey, wait a second!  What about my college tree?”  So here you have it, ladies and gentlemen…our college tree for year number two…

…and we couldn’t help but keep of few of these…

I love it!

Countdowns

November 23, 2010

I have always been big into countdowns (whether this is directly or indirectly related to my lack of patience is yet to be determined).  How many days until school’s out?  How many days until I go to college?  Until my birthday?  Until I get to go to the N’Sync concert (this was in the form of a HUGE poster hung under another poster of the boys themselves in my tweenage bedroom)?  So, appropriately, when Mitch and I set a date for our wedding after getting engaged, I immediately figured out exactly how many days until we would say ‘I do’ and proceeded to countdown.  While going through hundreds and hundreds of pictures to put on our monstrous new external hard drive, I came across these and couldn’t resist sharing some…

We ended up using these as the table numbers at our wedding–we appropriately sat at Table 0!

Pies, Pumpkins and Pictures!

November 9, 2010

While my mother-in-law, Michelle, was here visiting us, she taught me how to make the most delicious chocolate pie!  In my attempts to learn and master all things domestic, I jumped on the opportunity to learn to make her grandma’s special, secret recipe.  Each time we see Mitch’s family I feel like I learn something new…I love it!  When we visited them in May, I learned how to decorate cakes, last December I learned how to hand sew a quilt and now…this is my newest and tastiest bit of knowledge and skill…

I have to admit, as a meringue amateur, I had many moments of doubt and feelings of insufficiency, but, after following the directions to a t, accidentally dousing myself in hot liquid chocolate and egg white beating until my weak little arms were sore…we had the above!  It was so much fun to learn another family recipe–Mitch didn’t mind that I learned it either!

After having made a delicious chocolate pie, I slightly overestimated my baking skills.  After Mitch and I carved our pumpkins (an amazingly intense competition), I decided that if I made such a complicated recipe the week before, surely I could master roasting a few pumpkin seeds in the oven.  No sir.  This (deliciously wonderful Sugar & Spice pumpkin seeds fragrantly roasting in the oven…all according to recipe instructions, I might add)…

…quickly turned to a charcoal mess that made our cinnamon-scented home quite gross.  Yuck!  Maybe next year I will attempt (and achieve) pumpkin seed greatness.  But at least we had our pumpkins.  We turned these puppies…

…with a cute little carving kit from the local super market, a little elbow grease and creativity…

…into these puppies…

Can you tell whose is whose?  We decided it was a draw and one won for cuteness and the other for coolness.  Fair?  Fair.

In  other, unrelated news…I have had so much fun this month taking family photos, baby photos and other photos in between.  Here are a few of my favorites from the month!

Puppy Love

October 27, 2010

During this past week, Mitch’s mom was visiting us and Mitch’s sister Melissa (who lives not too far from us) from Colorado!  We had a wonderful time getting to spend time with both of them playing games, going to the symphony and showing his mom around Pittsburgh. Sunday after church we saw the cutest little basset hound puppy–and when I say cute, I mean cute!  Now, I have mentioned my puppy bug before, but since a puppy has seemed like more of a “sometime-in-the-future” thing, it has somewhat subsided–or so I thought.  After our adorable basset hound run in, we all decided we needed to go look at puppies in a pet store and hold them to get another much needed puppy-fix.  I innocently strolled past the windows filled with puppies admiring just how cute each and every one of them were.  I adored their soft looking fur wishing I could scratch behind their cute little ears, but was just fine remaining in my puppy-less state.

That’s when it happened.

I peered into a window and saw the cutest little french bull dog puppy anyone has ever seen.  We asked if we could hold him and one of the workers went behind the cages to bring him out.  We went into a little puppy room so we could see him play and it was all over.  He looked up at me with his adorable little eyes and even Mitch was sold.  Is it worth breaking our contract on our apartment to take this little puppy home?  Could we hide him?  The price didn’t even cross our minds as we planned out our lives with a puppy in it.  I even picked out a name!

But, we realized that it probably wouldn’t be the best idea to bring a puppy home to an apartment where puppies aren’t allowed and a puppy probably wouldn’t be a very easy thing to hide.  And we realized that it would only be fair to a puppy to give him a yard so he could run.  So, we sadly gave the cute little puppy back to the pet store worker and said our goodbyes.  “I loved that dog!”  I said as we walked out of the store with our heads hanging.  “It was just puppy love, sweetie,” Mitch told me as he put his arm around me.  “You’ll find your “one” someday…and just like your pumpkin…you’ll know.”  Ha. I love how he manages to crack me up even when I’m sad!

The One

October 15, 2010
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An unmarried girl or bachelor might say with a sweet sigh that he or she can’t wait to find “the one.”  Now, they might say there is no exact way to describe this dream person–they will just know it when they meet them.

The other day, Mitch and I went pumpkin hunting.  Oh, you haven’t heard of pumpkin hunting?  I was informed by Mitch upon arrival to our favorite local farmer’s market that pumpkin hunting is a very precise, non-technical, “you-know-it-when-you-see-it” process of searching for “the one.”  “I think we’ll just know!” he exclaimed after I asked him what size we should get.  Sound familiar?  We proceeded to walk by bins and bins of the large orange gourds while the sweet smell of cinnamon and nutmeg wafted through the air.  A few slightly promising heavy-lifts later, we were disappointed to find many pumpkins with dings and bruises that were downright misshapen.  We let out a sigh of discouragement and almost settled for just your average pumpkin.  And then it happened.  While casually walking by rows and rows of the things, Mitch picked up a pumpkin–a medium-sized, normal-looking pumpkin and declared it “the one.”  There was no arguing with my man about his discovery, so one perfect pumpkin and nine gourds later (we got a little excited about our pumpkin we decided it needed some friends to go with it), we happily walked to our car feeling like we had (in an autumn sense) arrived.  Our porch now has an ornament and our limited fall decorations feel complete.

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