Friday, December 30, 2011

a year in review

New Year's Day is a holiday I can get behind. I love the idea of starting fresh, making new goals and reflecting on everything accomplished (or not accomplished) in the past 365 days. I feel so lucky to have a very full and happy life with Anders. So, here we go, the year of the Golden Rabbit (yup, I googled it) in review.

This fish market closed down for construction for the entire month of January, which means a lot of vacations for Anders and I! We crossed the border into Canada and spent the weekend with friends in Vancouver, BC. We also took a road trip from Decatur, IL all the way home to Seattle via Minneapolis, Bismark, Philipsburg, MT and Coeur d'Alene, ID. 

Anders got sinus surgery at the end of January and spent the first few weeks of February recovering! Luckily, it went smoothly, and he now breathes easier (Maggie was allowed on the couch for recovery purposes only). Also, we celebrated Valentine's Day with homemade sushi by Anders-san!

March was a busy month! We celebrated Anders' birthday where he got to meet one of his childhood idols, Sean Kemp! Plus, we had our annual snowshoeing adventure, and then we said said goodbye to cold and gloomy Seattle and off to Costa Rica we went.

With March being so busy, we settled in for a quiet April. We went to a few Mariners games, but we also did a lot of yard work. We re-grassed our entire backyard!

We went wine tasting with friends and then headed to Whistler, BC for a rainy weekend in the mountains. I also turned 29, but decidedly left that undocumented!

Our first camping trip of the season! We headed to our property at Big Bottom, and the boys built a new fire pit. We also started playing in a Pike Place market softball league.

Back to Big Bottom for the Fourth of July and, also, down to Oregon for my first ever Country Fair! We also celebrated our two year wedding anniversary.

Once again to Big Bottom this time for our buddy's 50th birthday party. It was a Dr. Seuss themed party!

We had to squeeze in as much as we could during these last few months of nice weather. We partied on an electric boat for Labor Day, went wine tasting (and attempted to build a human pyramid) and kicked off the Seahawk's football season!

What a great month! We ran in the Hell Run (and got a free cape!), Anders was on the Today show (EEP!), our good friends Jake and Dina got married, we celebrated the month with a pumpkin themed night, I started this blog and did one of my first posts about Halloween!

Off to Decatur, IL I went! I spent the Thanksgiving holiday at (my old) home with family while Anders ate his weight in mashed potatoes

Anders and I headed to the coast before his work schedule got crazy. We also celebrated the holiday by making festive treats and spending time with friends and family.

Phew! What a year. I'm sure there were some dentist appointments in there as well, but you get the idea! Can't wait to start making 2012 memories!

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

a thoughtful gift

My little sister sent us this cross stitch she made of Anders and I for Christmas, and I seriously can't get over how cute it is! I can't believe she managed to capture us so perfectly. Anders is wearing his orange grundens from work, and I'm rockin' my favorite Seahawks shirt (#45 is the famous Kenny Easley). Even Maggie made the picture (minus a few much needed pounds). This has already found a place on our fireplace mantel. My family is so talented! Love it! 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

it's christmas time!

Christmas has never been my favorite holiday, but it's hard to be a Grinch when your day is surrounded by close friends and family, delicious food and thoughtful gifts. We had such a wonderful day, and I hope your day was just as merry and bright!

A gift from Anders. It's my maiden name, but I'm hoping people might think I actually went there :)

Anders stays in theme!

 Something is funny with Anders and Chris

 Trevor and his son, Rudy (psst...Rudy told everyone I was his best friend!)

Our dear friends, Chris and Ramsey

Some of my favorite kiddos on Christmas

How many men does it take to carve a roast...

Neressa and Rudy

just silly

Saturday, December 24, 2011

christmas eve

Well, Santa didn't bring the Seahawks a win today, which means our playoff dreams are crushed. But, let us not focus on the's Christmas Eve by golly, and we had some straight up Christmas miracles today. First off, we found street parking at the market in downtown Seattle, and we had breakfast at the Athenian and did not have to wait for a table. Also, we went to a very crowded bar before the game packed with football fans, and we actually got a seat. Plus, it was 50 degrees today (in December!), and we didn't have to wear a coat in the game. Last, but certainly not least, the boys successfully finished their 90 hour work week and lived to tell about it. Christmas miracles I tell ya!

After the game ended and the shop closed, we got to spend a wonderful evening with Anders' family; eating a delicious dinner and opening up gifts. I sure would like to see tomorrow try and top today!

And now off to bed...I hear Santa doesn't come if you are awake!

friends at the game

warm and sunny Seattle

the boys finally close up shop

nieces and nephews excited for Christmas

Friday, December 23, 2011

christmas eve eve

It has been kind of quiet on here the past few days, but that's only because there is nothing going on right now! Anders is still working like crazy, and I'm still playing housewife. We are both looking forward to the holiday this weekend. We have some fun agenda items planned, but also some much needed R&R.

The picture is the ornament we bought for this year. We started a tradition when we got married of buying one new Hallmark ornament every Christmas (actually, my Mom started this tradition when she married my Dad, and I decided to steal it!). We try to find an ornament that fits our personalities, and, this year, I had a bit of trouble finding one. I liked this ornament with Snoopy grilling hot dogs (we love to grill, and we love hot dogs), but I wasn't sure how Anders would feel about a Snoopy ornament. Was it to childish? When I showed it to him the response was..."SNOOOOOOOPY! I LOOOOVE SNOOPY!" 

I learn something new about my husband every day. Success.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

winter potato salad

I've never really been that great of a cook. Sure, I can follow a recipe well enough, but when it comes to being creative and inventive in the kitchen, well, that has never been my strong suit. This past year, though, I've really started reading a lot about cooking and experimenting a bit more here and there, and I feel like I've come a really long way (I think my husband would agree! You should see the stuff I used to make!). When I found out that my favorite food blog, My New Roots, was holding a contest to find a completely original recipe to feature on her blog, I thought it would be a good opportunity to put myself to the test. The recipe had to use healthy, seasonal and interesting ingredients, and, while I didn't win (you can see who did win here), I was really pleased with my first recipe.

With all the holiday parties this month, I wanted to create a potluck dish that I could take with me to share with friends. Also, I think I'm starting to get cabin fever because I somehow chose to winterize a summer time dish! This is my take on the classic potato salad using all in season, winter ingredients.

Winter Potato Salad

1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

5 cups of cubed sweet potatoes*
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup of broccoli, cut into tiny florets
1 cup of cauliflower, cut into tiny florets
1/4 cup of diced red onion
1/2 cup of diced parsnip
1 (2 1/4 ounce) can of sliced black olives, drained

Prepare dressing by combining the four ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
Place diced potatoes and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a medium saucepan. Cover with water to 2 inches above potato; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 8 minutes or until tender. Drain.
Add potatoes to dressing while they are still hot, tossing gently to coat. Let stand 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, chop all the other vegetables and add to potatoes once they are cooled. Toss well.
Cover and chill.

*Use dark skinned sweet potatoes to get the pretty orange color. I used pale skinned ones and was disappointed. It should have been much prettier!