Saturday, December 11, 2010

A very belated thanks

**The formatting on blogger is so frustrating these days I just might switch to a new blog publishing offering.  Sorry for the wacky look of this post...
I am going to write this post a little differently than usual.  This blog post is being written to my wonderful husband:

Scott, I am thankful for you.  We last left off in anticipation of my birthday where I was to turn into the oldest 27-year-old known to man.  The good news is that you love me for being prematurely old.  You didn't even flinch when I said I just wanted to stay in on my birthday and make dinner together in our comfies.  

On my birthday you showed up at Engine Company 1 ready for a birthday date.  I love going to Houston's (or Hillstone) with you any day but today was extra special since there was no work to be had after.  We enjoyed our spinach & artichoke dip, fish sandwich and wine and best of all we enjoyed being there together.  Crafting a grocery list on the table for our big night ahead.  Somehow you snuck out of the double grocery store duty (the day before Thanksgiving) but I'll forgive you because the day before I walked into the cleanest house possible.   You folded laundry, put out new hand towels (still in Thanksgiving themed colors) and even made the house smell less like pomeranian.  

The Strand Fam joined us for happy hour and we were all able to enjoy chatting while the kids milled about and enjoyed Go Diego Go.  After the house cleared we abandoned our initial plans of kneading dough and singing along to iTunes and plopped some toppings on a Boboli.  The timer went off just in time to snuggle in for a movie followed by a birthday dance party in our living room.

And, the presents.  I am such a lucky lucky girl to have such a thoughtful and generous husband.  There was, of course, the robe that I knew was coming (based on the email with the link and exact size I wanted) but you took it one step further and got me what I was hoping for as a Christmas present.  My very own Kindle!  This is even more selfless than I can imagine because you know books suck me in and I can't put them down.  A digital device with book after book at my fingertips?!  And, yes, I already finished the first book I purchased.  And, finally, there was the surprise trip (but let's leave these blog readers in the dark a bit long on that one).  
Me and my presents!
Thanksgiving.  I am so thankful to have married into a family as loud, fun, and spirited as my own.  Spending such a wonderful holiday with you is something I look forward to for a lifetime to come.  Next year it is on my birthday, just saying...

Appetizers.  Don't worry there was plenty of french onion dip and ruffles too!
Someone was making us have a laugh!
Michelle, Grandmere, and Kristina

Guess what country each wine is from!

Region Selections


The day after Thanksgiving you gave me the best birthday surprise ever...a trip to NAPA!!  Even though I found out ahead of time that I was being whisked away and ruined your "pack you bags" plan it was fun to guess the destination and know that you had something up your sleeve.

We started by stopping at a few of our wine clubs:


Cakebread. I feel like this could be our recycle bin...maybe it is bad to admit that?

A car picnic at Oakville Grocery

You then drove us to our hotel, the Vintage Inn, where we spent a night in early 2010 (I like this tradition of bookending our year with Napa trips)!  After getting all dolled up you took me to one of Yountville's wonderful eateries, Redd.

Hooray, a picture of us together! (in the lobby of the Vintage Inn)

Dinner-Night #1

Pork bun-it was one of the best things I have ever eaten.
We ate too quickly to capture the rest of the meal but we will definitely be making a return trip.  

The next day we headed off for more wine tasting and, of course, eating!

View from our was pouring but still gorgeous.

At Mustard's for lunch (where ironically we just had water)!

Saturday night was above and beyond.  We got all gussied up and went back to our favorite, Bottega.  We decided to do what we did last time and let the waiter lead us through the menu and pair wines with each course.  It was once again the most incredible meal!  I don't know how we could ever stay in Yountville and not go there, even with so many tremendous restaurants to choose from.  

Beets and other root veggies.

Pasta to die for.

It was like a faux thanksgiving dinner with duck leg!
Lovey, it was an incredible birthday and I am so thankful for all of the time, effort, and thought you put into making it perfect.  You always go above and beyond and I truly am lucky to have you as my husband (as I type you are cleaning the house)! I can't wait to spend the rest of 2010 with you and every day of the rest of our many years together.  

Monday, November 22, 2010

No, I didn't quit blogging

I just got so ridiculously behind I couldn't dig out.  That, and with the new camera I take 10 times more pictures making getting through all of them a bit of challenge.  Since no one pays me to edit and post my photos I am here, almost a month later, playing catch up.  

So, here it is...a tiny glimpse into what we have been up to since I talked to you last...

We joined the Strand Fam for Halloween.  We took out one cute little mermaid, the UPS guy, and two pomeranians for some trick-or-treating fun! 

Scott and I had a wonderful date night.  We started at Bin38 for some wine appetizers and then headed off to our favorite, A16 (thanks Mom & Dad!) for food, wine, and more food and wine! 
Yes, there was prosciutto and burrata, and that was just to start.  We ate and ate and ate! 

The Giants won the World Series...
Yep, I had front row standing position for the parade! That is Buster Posey in that trolley! 

We had the Retchless Family over for a little get together.  We always have fun when we get together but don't do it often enough so we have put the wheels in motion to change that! 
All of the sisters made the trek up to the city for a BBQ!  However, I think Andrea's risotto put our burgers and hot dogs to shame!

Beth brought a fun game..."Guess what is in the Altoid box!"
I ended up winning (it was a cookie shaped like a witch's finger-yep, I somehow got the point where I was able to guess that) and we got a Giants special edition Sports Illustrated.

We bowled...
Please note Scott's 181!!!  Who knew I had such a bowler on my hands.  I would also like you to note the possessed determination on my face in the bottom left picture. 

We went to a Gala (click on the photo to see all the pictures)!  
This Gala was for the Lung Cancer Foundation.  It was a very serious, yet fun night.  There was a silent auction, live auction, dinner, dancing, presentation, opera singers, and a night cap at the Top of the Mark!

We went to a 49ers game:
We went on my first visit to Candlestick Park.  It is a bit like stepping back in time and my only real complaint about the experience was the lack of big pretzels available for my consuming pleasure!

Ok, so that is the VERY short version.  I am going to try and update on the coming week/weekend before we get to next weekend and especially before I let another month pass us by.  

This week is also exciting as it is my birthday AND Thanksgiving.  Quick fact, I was actually born on Thanksgiving!  What happens when you are born on Thanksgiving you ask (and no, you do not have a innate sense for how to cook a turkey)?
Well of course, you have a Thanksgiving tree and enough turkey decorations to take a house by storm.  It takes me two GIANT Rubbermaid bins to store all of the decorations I have inherited...purely for being born on the 24th of November.
Happy Thanksgiving.  I'll be back next week!!

ps-not sure what is up with the formatting but at least there is a post!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A preview

I am starting the process of picking favorites from our wedding photos to share with you (as promised).  This is not an easy task because I love them all!  I ran across this one tonight and just had to share.  Many more to come...

Many overdue weekends...

Ok, the moment you have all been waiting for...what makes Scott tick?  What was so exciting at Home Depot?  Prepare to be disappointed because it is no more than a portable grill!  

After evaluating about 10 options, a phone call for male input and a few eye rolls from me, we walked out with this puppy.  The answer to what makes Scott tick, though, is his tailgate.  It is like a switch clicks in his head to "tailgating planning master" and it is hard to get him back.  From the moment the email goes out to friends and family, the wheels are turning with ideas on how to make this one that much better!

This year we made our way to the Stanford v. USC game.  We donned our best red accessories (this is the last year for that...Buffs join the Pac10 next year) and headed south to get set up for the big tailgate.  This year, Michelle, Aimee and Kristina jumped on the tailgate bandwagon and talk about being stocked and ready for the day!  We had:

-Dip, Guac, etc...
-Deviled Eggs
-Pasta Salad
-Hot Dogs
-Caprese Salad (thanks Andrea!)
-Salami (Andrea must bring a chef to your next tailgate)
-Corn Hole
-Ladder Game
-25+ people

Ok, you get the idea.  It was ridiculous.  We packed a Rav 4 and Tahoe full of supplies for our big day.  I would call it a resounding success.  I manned the phone this year so Scott could enjoy "his" tailgate and everyone managed to find our little plot of land.  Definitely an annual tradition that we will continue!  I do get a bit nervous about how Scott plans to top this one though!!  

Andrea can saber a champagne bottle-not a bad party trick!
The boys tailgating, Scott with his Gloria, Tanner preparing to drive the Rav away, Scott and his nieces.
Kate and I tailgating

A quick rewind...I failed to mention that Katie was in town this weekend (if you hadn't figured that out from the picture above)!  We got to spend Friday through Sunday night taking the city and surrounding areas by storm.  Friday night we took Katie to one of our favorites, The House.  The food is just oh so good!  

As you saw, Saturday was a bit busy as well!  Why stop there?  Sunday we packed up and headed to, where else, Napa! We did switch up the order of things a bit to keep it fresh.  First stop, Mondavi.  Then we headed across the street to Cakebread.  This was my first visit there and it definitely exceeded expectations.  

Kate and I at Rutherford Grill.

Kate with her new Cakebread wine!
We learned a neat trick to aerate wine and put a few years on it.  Just roll back and forth and for every 30 seconds it ages a year.  It is incredible to taste the difference.

We ended the day at Gloria, of course!  It was a jam packed, fun weekend!  Come back soon, Kate!!!

Obviously I am very behind in by blogging because I am officially three weekends behind.  The weekend after Kate's visit was very low key and the camera didn't even make an appearance.  Lots of couch time, a massage for me, and more couch time. 

We needed the weekend to recover and prepare for all of our Giants cheering!  It is a very exciting time to be in San Francisco!!  Unfortunately they went to Philly to clinch it but we sure had fun being in the stands.  

Nice view of the Bay Bridge from our seats.

Don't worry Mom, it is just the weird light...I am not quite this pale!!

This weekend we continued our theme of taking it easy, but headed over to the Strand Fam's for some pumpkin carving and Giants watching fun on Saturday night.  Oh, and I got a haircut.  We aren't talking about it.  
I got a bit of a domestic wind and decided to make cookies and cupcakes for  our night of pumpkin fun!

The littlest Giants fan enjoying his juice box! 
All our hard work paid off!
"We're going to the World Series!!!"
I do believe we are now caught up.  One of these days I will get my act together and be a better blogger! It is definitely more fun to write when the stories are fresh in my mind.  I am sure it makes for better reading too.  I'll see what I can do :-).

Monday, October 11, 2010

And we're off

**note that I am a week behind...another update for this weekend coming in the next day or so**

No, not off to the races or off to work...just "off".  This weekend was just one of those weekends where Scott and I both had a little trouble getting it together.  We weren't terribly motivated to do anything or really feeling very peppy.  As a result, we did a lot of relaxing.  I think it was the first time since the wedding so it was a nice change of pace (though don't expect it to last).

Friday we went to the Giants game to watch them clinch their playoff spot.  I boogied out of work at about 4:30 for the festivities and to join in the sea of orange and black that had taken over 3rd & King St.  While we had a great time at the game, the playoff spot was not secured and I took home one very depressed husband.  After a very tense weekend we finally got our spot on Sunday...go Giants!

The Hyland Family was rooting for the home team as well! 
Saturday we had a rather domestic day of going to Target and Home Depot.  Oh, Target, how I love thee and your rows and rows of items that I absolutely do not need but somehow end up in my cart. It truly is a bond that cannot be broken.  Yet, Target does leave me broke.  Without fail, $100 leaves my bank account on each visit.  I should really not be left unattended at this establishment.

I will discuss our Home Depot trip during next week's post as it pertains to a certain obsession of Scott's that can only be shared with photo documentation.

Sunday we decided to be slightly more motivated and headed out armed with gift cards to work on our registry completion!  Oh what fun it is to buy things and not have your bank account change!  We finished off our pots and pans and knife set and it might be as great as a trip to Target.  I now get excited to head home and chop vegetables for dinner with our freakishly sharp knives!

After all of this domestic errand running we felt a little bad for our cute little pomeranians so we packed up the car and headed to the beach.  Arnold Pomeranian has always been a landlocked dog so this was his first trip to the beach.  He was definitely fired up and kept attacking Lola to try and get her to play.  Unfortunately, we waited until too late in the evening and the tide was extremely high and the waves were quite angry - like Brittany Spears swinging an umbrella at the paparazzi angry!  All I could imagine was Arnold being swept up and out by the water, his little eyes looking at me and me drowning trying to save my little Snooch.  Therefore, his first trip to the beach was a little lame but don't worry we will be back and there will be a sandy salt water mess to prove it!
A beautiful day at the beach?

Scott perched on our wonderful picnic spot.  
Lola doesn't mind the less than ideal Nor Cal beach conditions!


I think that might qualify as the longest blog post about absolutely nothing of consequence.  But, there it is.  You might want to start preparing for next week because this weekend is going to be so awesome that it might just blow your mind reading about it!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

One Big Dilemma

Today I have opted to blog about something other than what we did last weekend or last night (we went the Giants game, just in case you were curious).  

Today, I blog about my hair.  Yes, the truly exciting topic of whether or not to cut my hair.  You see, I have worked very hard to get my hair where it is today!  Ok, so it hasn't actually been "work" but I did go through the stress of the awkward length, resisting the temptation to chop it regularly, and just generally dealing with this mane of hair I have.  
Now that I have made it through the wedding, up-do complete, I can do anything I want.  Before the wedding I swore I would chop it off at the first chance I got.  Well, I have had plenty of time and can't seem to pull the trigger.  

I love my hair short.  I actually think it looks better on me and my face but I also love blow drying my nice long hair and watching it fall to my back.  I think it is pretty.  Plus, if I cut it, I can't use this fabulous new invention! 
These are incredible.  Just twirl them in and your bun stays better than any amount of hair spray/bobby pin combo!

Let's play the pros and cons game...

Keep Long Hair:
Can shower at night and pull it back in the morning (i.e.-more sleep)
More hair style options
I haven't cut my hair in about a year! 

Looks like a mane (or pile of hay) sometimes
Makes me lazy about actually styling my hair

Chop Hair:
Looks better on my face
Can wear tiny pony on top of my head 
In a hair disaster can scrunch it and it will hold
I am pretty sure Scott likes it short better (Scott?)

Can't just throw it in a pony tail
Little pony on top of my head makes me look like I'm 5 
No shower at night option
Maintenance haircuts

Yep, pretty sure I just ended up right back where I started.  No idea what to do.  HELP ME!!!

The cute short hair
More short hair...sorry about the accessory in the picture, it was a birthday gag gift (and not even for us)
Pretty long hair
Again, pretty long hair
The previously mentioned mane (this long hair is really hit or miss)