Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas from us...and Obama!

Merry Christmas! We got up early and made a feast of tiny delicious "breakfast appetizers" just like Mom does.

I got this beautiful pearl chandelier from J! It's going to look awesome when we get some first-floor improvements done.

J got this pirate hat from my Mom!

And new toe socks for wearing with flip-flops. :)

Santa also brought me this dolly-topped bottle of "G" perfume. I love her. She smells just like a delicious coconut shave ice.

Plus, I got Obama: An action figure we can believe in! Standing in a fruit tray you can sink your teeth into.

Christmas Eve Festivities!

We had snow for our Christmas eve festivities, and were both blessed by generous coworkers who gave us a ride home in the snowy afternoon!

Our sweet next-door neighbors gave us a bounty of Christmas treats! I'm not a big gingerbread fan, so sometimes wish people would make sugar cookie men. It's fun to bite the heads off the whole genre of man-cookies.

We opened one gift on Christmas Eve in Boise. A lovely wool sweater for me...and slippers for my husband!

When you are only 9 inches tall, any snow is a hindrance. We have kindly kept a walkway cleared for her.

Then we snuggled in for a viewing of one of my favorite holiday movies: White Christmas!

Treacherous Transit

My return trip to Boise was good times. After another MAX ride to the airport, flight delays, a BROKEN airplane just before take-off (the pilot actually came on and said, "Ladies and gentlemen, this plane is broken.") and having our plane actually freeze to the tarmac, our plane actually arrived in Boise, 12 hours after I got to the airport. I read an entire book!! Had it not been snowing, I could have driven faster!!

Here's some airport dudes pouring deicer on our frozen-to-the-ground airplane tires. Thankfully, they eventually succeeded in unsticking us.

And I returned home to discover that my sweet husband had prepared for me a candlelight dinner of roast with all the fixin's! So sweet!

A Wild Turkey Christmas

The parents' lovely property is under siege. A gang of wild turkeys lives in the neighborhood, and passes through once or twice a day, begging for change and smoking cigarettes.

I refer to them as "The Harbingers of Death," because they are a little skinny this winter, so look more like buzzards or vultures.

It's a little scary to wake up and find a faux vulture staring in the sliding glass. They are relentless! Shoo, you Harbingers of Death!

Evil Kitty

While I was at Sister's, I got to know her new kitty a little better. She really seems like the perfect pet: she does whatever she likes by herself, doesn't need any attention, and never makes a noise.

However, I discovered I had trouble photographing her. Every time I did, something went awry. Is this tiny kitty possessed by some evil spirit?


Is she burning holes in the back of Sister's head with those glowing eyes?

A Visit To Sister's: Part Two, Christmas!

So, back at Sister's for one more evening before my flight, we decided to have our little sister Christmas, and a traditional Christmas dinner: more crab, thanks to the generous seafood-bestowing parents.

What!?! It's hard to get good crab in Idaho. Don't you judge me.

Plus, it's very hard to find someone who will "back" your crab for you. But, Merry Christmas to me, Poo went ahead and backed my crab for me, "crab guts face" and all.

But it was soon replaced with the "I love my new socks!" face.

Sharky helped Sister with her new gifts. He's so helpful.

I hopped on MAX, airport-bound, before the snow was quite this bad, but it was really starting to come down!

The Return from the Coast to the City

Despite the stormy weather, my handy rental car and I braved the Highway 26 pass. (12/19, back before it was REALLY treacherous or closed.) But it was still pretty scary. By keeping it between 20 and 30 mph the whole way, I was able to stretch the stunning views out to almost 4 hours. Good times.

Sister graciously helped me return the rental car before yet another storm dropped. I was super glad we did that, as Saturday morning the highway system was absolute chaos. Yea for MAX!

We got coffee to help us endure yet another MAX ride from the airport to Hillsboro. Clearly, I was nearly delirious after this long day of transit.

Sharky: Never Not Funny.

One of my Christmas gifts was a new Sharky from Dad! We've had Sharkys before, primarily at the Beach House, but a new Sharky is always welcomed into the family.

And always funny. Always.

Sharky likes biting Mom....

And Dad.
And Christmas presents.
Sharky likes to ruin television programming for other viewers.
And torment the kitties.

Early Christmas with the Parents at the Coast!

By Tuesday afternoon the weather was pretty clear, so I got another (all-wheel drive) car and high-tailed it to the coast to see the parents! Their spot on the river was simply swaddled in snow and holiday lights!

The parents were gracious enough to prepare a feast of Dungeness crab and tasty geoduck!


We also worked on getting their cats to relax around visitors.
Plus we had a lovely (slightly early) Christmas! SO many lovely gifts, including a bounty of card-making supplies and an awesome new Ducks sweatshirt!

Snow on the banks of the Nehalem!

Is that kitty wearing lipstick? Seriously.
So nice to hang with the parents for nearly 4 days!

A Visit to Sister's: Part One

StormWatch 2008 changed our plans a wee big. After a festive evening in Longview, we high-tailed it to the airport, where my husband hopped a plan back to Boise and I dumped our rental car, opting to just use MAX to get around for a while.

So off to sister's (very festive) house for two nights! Thankfully her house is just a short walk from MAX.

We quickly made a game plan: suit up and walk to the store for the things we would need to survive the storm.

The snow kept sister from work on Monday, so we used that Handy MAX again and were off to Lloyd Center for the day! The shopping! The Newport Grille chicken strips! And a Lloyd Center highlight: sodas at Paradise Bakery.
The next morning we hosted Aisha for an early morning breakfast date on her way to work! So nice to gab and have coffee...and sister put together such a delicious meal before she was off to work!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Company Christmas Party

TWO WEEKS since my last post? Apologies, dear readers! We traveled to Portland on the 12th and I stayed the whole next week, and enjoyed a mostly computer-free week!

The trip was due, in part, to my husband's company, which flew us to Portland and put us up at Edgefield for their Christmas party! We stayed in the "Farm Students" Room and enjoyed a soak in Ruby's soaking pool. The party was fun fun fun, with cocktail hour, dinner, a white elephant, and shutting down the pool hall late in the evening!
I had never stayed at Edgefield before, only at the Grand Lodge, which I have a great affinity for, being on the west side and all. ;) But I think my favorite of the refurbed hotels has to be Kennedy School...the academic theme appeals to the student in me.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Few of My Other Favorite Holiday Decorations...

Simply called: "Turning the Tables." I bought this one a few years back.

My bee-you-tee-ful 1996 Christmas Barbie ornament from Mom and Dad.

Carolyn gave me this replica of my favorite ornament on her tree -- my husband's first visit to Santa. Being watched over by the silly angel who has the same expression my sister makes when she's excited.

Jimmy Choos, hung by the chimney with care...Hey wait a minute! How'd this get in here?!?
Well. They are nice decorations...
Sara trying to convince herself these would work for her. No dice. But for a while, the office had an air of style about the place.

And this jaunty little fellow in his saucy tartan ensemble...leaping gleefully over the Mardi Gras beads we brought back from our honeymoon that are now hooked end-to-end and encircle our tree.
Happy decorating to you! :)

We Decorated our Tree!

Yeah, it's a fake tree. You got a problem with that? I don't care. I know we live in the northwest. I've picked enough pine needles out of carpet to last me the rest of my days. Martha Stewart's version of nature fits me juuuust fiiine at this stage of my life.

Don't get me wrong, I prefer the smell and look of a real tree--when I have the time to enjoy getting it, and might actually spend two days in a row with it. But mostly I walk by it on my way to work and my way to bed. $30 at Kmart's post Christmas sale two years ago. You can't beat that. At least I actually put lights on this one. I have a smaller, pre-lit one that I just plug in. I looove that one.

One of my Mom's Christmas traditions is the addition each year of a new "bell" ornament for her tree. I realized a few years back that I have a penchant for snowmen, so we've decided to continue her tradition! Each year we buy a new snowman ornament. Here's this year's addition...I like him because he's so retro-ey.