Thursday, December 31, 2009

I'm usually so good at remembering to take pictures...

But these past few months, it's like I forgot we own a camera! I guess I've been too busy enjoying life to worry about taking photos. Anyhow, we had a lovely Christmas (I have no photos of course) up in San Jose with our families (minus Kate, John, and Kaylee who enjoyed an NC Christmas with the Wilkins!). We drove up to San Jose on the 24th just in time for the Christmas eve service at Mountain Bible church, then dinner and games with the Haak family. Christmas day, we drove over to Michele's house for dinner with her, my dad, John, and Kim. We brought Crum with us and he got to play with Michele's dog Casey, who was not amused. We got to see their vacation photos from Israel, Jordan, and Egypt. It sealed the deal for us, we have to go to Israel! We spent the next few days enjoying friends and family. We even got to see Eileen and Jim and their new baby Andrew, who is such a well mannered cutie pie. It was a great refreshing trip full of joy.
Here's Seth and Crum with our little Christmas tree -
Crum is "helping decorate" -
Pre-Christmas crafting. Crum is "helping" me again -
And here he is just being cute -
Since I have forced time off at work, I've been trying to get to some of the projects around here that I've been putting off. One of them is infusing gin with various natural flavors! I started these a few days ago and they take a week of infusing, so I will let you know how they turn out. Flavors include: apple and pear, olive and jalapeño, rosemary, lemon and peppercorn, clove, and cucumber.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Abbreviated Fall update

Fall is here! And it's already nearly winter. We've had a busy month-and-a-half since our last Halloween update. We've welcomed a new member into our family, Crum, the frenchie pup, have been visited by our friends Kurt and Heidi from New York, celebrated Thanksgiving, and celebrated Liv's 30th B'day. You can read better descriptions of those events from the people themselves: Powers and McMillans.

I couldn't get a hold of all the photos we've taken over the past weeks, but here's a sampling:
Visiting Grandma Holt in Selma (that's near Fresno). She's a firecracker, ornery as ever!
And here's Crum! He's a nearly 6-months old and quite a handful...
He may look innocent, but he's probably thinking about chewing something or how to get in trouble next. He goes w/ me to work about 2 days a week, any more than that and I wouldn't get any work done at all. Everyone loves him there.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Halloween, my favorite time of the year

I think I actually like Halloween even better than my own birthday. It's so fun to get silly and dress up in whatever you want for a day! AND eat a ton of candy and not feel guilty. This year Seth and I went as Batman and Catwoman. But not the new one, the old 60's Adam West TV show style Batman and Catwoman. For pulling these together in a week, I think they turned out pretty fun! Next year, no spandex. We got to wear them to Seth's work party and at our house on Saturday. We had Liv, Jeff, Matt, Jana, Kelsey, and Jake over for food, scary movies, games and handing out candy. Apparently, our neighborhood is a hot spot for trick or treaters. We went through 12 lbs of candy (6 bags!) in 2 hours! whoah!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Jeffy's 8 year old birthday party!

Jeff turned something over 3o this year so we pretty much stopped counting and had him an 8 year old's birthday instead (by his request!). We had pizza, finally got to hang out with Henry (Mark and Karen's adorable baby, who made me want one), played Butts Up at the park, and ate cake at the Puka Bar (I suppose that was the adult part of the evening). It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Happy birthday Jeff!
I was trying not to flash in Henry's eyes so this is blurry, but you can still tell he's really cute!
Butts Up - see Liv's blog for rules -
And the confetti cake with marshmallow icing at the Puka Bar! mmmm yum!
The birthday boy!

Dan and Amber's wedding

Our friend Amber has to be the most stunning bride I've ever seen - she wore a red dress! Amazing! Everyone was shocked but not surprised, because she's just that cool. She looked so beautiful and unique. Dan and Amber asked their guests to wear red and black attire and almost everyone did! it was such a neat addition to their wedding. Everyone looked like they belonged there. It was a great party, lots of wonderful people, dancing, great food, and best of all a great celebration of Dan and Amber. So many personal touches and neat style details! Kudos to a great wedding!
The dress -
So cute! Their flower girls had little black angel wings and red halos!
Dan and Amber cutting the cake. Even the CAKE was red and black-
Seth and I enjoying the reception. Red wine seemed the obvious choice for a drink. Note the cool birdcages on the tables!
Cliff, always looking ready to do something important -
Jim and Aaron, buddies -
Alex and TeeTee, relaxin' -
Emily and Cliff, drinking fake white Russians, also now known as the Colorado Russian -
Ryan and I - masks were provided at all the place settings!
And before the wedding, we got to have our fun friends Cliff and Emily, some of our favorite people, stay with us for the weekend! They live in Colorado now so it was a nice for them to have a break from the 20 degree weather and visit the beach on a day in the 80's. We miss them. (BTW, Seth is standing on a hill and in the foreground, he's not that giant!)

San Diego weekend

Wow, we have really slacked on the blog updates. My bad, I was hoarding the camera with all the photos. Anyhow, here's the recap of what we've been so busy with lately.
The first weekend of October, Ma and Pa Haak (John and Kim) took all of us kids (Daniel, Melody, Seth, and me) to San Diego for the weekend to see the last of the Giants baseball games of the season. The boys went to 3 games and the girls went to 1 game (thanks John!). We also went to Balboa park, the San Diego zoo, stayed at a rad hotel, ate great food, celebrated the Haaks 30th wedding anniversary, randomly stumbled upon a children's ping pong tournament, saw cousin Josh, and got to visit with our dear friends Nate and Hanan. phew! it was a jam packed a super fun weekend! thanks!
The night game we went to at the Padres stadium:
I was enjoying these skittles a lot so i took a picture of them (mostly for Heidi's sake):
Melody and I with our pink friends, the flamingos:
My favorite - the jaguar! She was swimming a lot:
A hippo named Otis, also a mighty fine swimmer:
The rad hotel I was telling you about - the Hotel Indigo. It's pet friendly!
The boys in front of the greenhouse at Balboa park:
John showing the scale of these giant leaves!
It's not every day you run into a ping pong tournament!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I've decided to create a new art-blog. I'm hoping I'll update it more frequently than my actual website: The idea is that it's easier to update these blogs than it really is to update the website... we'll see. I have two posts up already! Should be updated frequently, mostly likely w/ sketches done at work on sticky-notes while I wait for files to export.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My Christmas present, my birthday present, my anniversary present...

Is this little guy. Coming special delivery via the Powers at Thanksgiving. I think I might explode in anticipation and glee.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Souffle surprise!

I like cooking without rules.  I don't use cookbooks or recipes much, but love to make things up as I go (unless I'm cooking with Liv and I humor her rule follower side by only tweaking the recipe a little bit).  Wednesday night, Seth had to work late so I decided to make something fantastic since I had the time.  So, I chopped up all the veggies we had in the fridge, threw in some eggs, cheese, and little bit of sour cream, seasoned, and tossed in some jalapenos for good measure.  Baked at 400 for 25 minutes and voila, Souffle Surprise! (I name everything I make "__Surprise"  because I never know what I'm making until it's done).   It turned out quite tasty, if I do say so myself.  And I creatively used up all the perishables in the fridge before we leave town for the weekend.  Success!  

"Wedding cake is my favorite kind of cake!"

That's what Seth says every time we are getting ready to go to the next wedding.  He's been in hog heaven this past month with 4 weddings!  He had 3 pieces at Matt and Jana's wedding!  That's just one of the many reasons I love him. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

More Wedding Bliss: Matt and Jana

'Tis the season. Last weekend was Matt and Jana's wedding. Mandy and Liv volunteered to use their skills toward creating all the flower arrangements for the wedding, that included all the table pieces, bouquets, and boutonnières. They went up to the flower mart in LA on Friday morning and were busy working on flowers all day long. I think the one thing they wanted most by the end of the day was a real work bench:
I helped by heating up some frozen pizzas on the BBQ and watch the Giants beat the Dodgers. I also guarded the flowers as the arrangements began to spring up all over the dining and living rooms:
We drove up to Camarillo the next day, for the wedding. It's beautiful there, just inland of Oxnard and Ventura. Lot's of vineyards and farms. We quickly set up all the decorations and rushed over to the hotel to clean up a bit and change into our wedding clothes. It was pretty hectic, but it all turned out looking great:
The bride and the father of the bride:
Cocktail hour after the ceremony and before the wedding dinner:
The food was really good, especially for buffet-style wedding food. Everyone helped Matt and Jana celebrate the occasion by dancing the night away:
Sending off the newlyweds w/ a gauntlet of sparklers. Extra points for burn marks ;) :