Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Our first Thanksgiving dinner

Okay, this wasn't our first Thanksgiving together, but it was the first time we made our own Thanksgiving dinner. And when I say "we" of course, I made the dinner. But Chris helped with carving the turkey, cleaning up before and after and, when I sent him to the store this morning, he returned with the requested items, plus these:

And that's one of the reasons he's the best.
I haven't made a turkey in about 10 years, and that time it was under my Mom's supervision. I think it turned out pretty well, and I can't believe I forgot to take a picture before we cut into it.
Our coworkers John and Julie came over, and brought some yummy veggies and delicious apple dumplings. I also made my first pumpkin pie and my grandma's cranberry bread, which has almond extract (my favorite of all the extracts) both in the batter and icing and pretty much kicks ass.
I decided a festive beverage was in order, and since my mom had brought over some cloves and cinnamon sticks recently, I figured mulled wine was the way to go. Yum.

The whole day went off with a hitch. Well, except when I caught my oven mitt on fire.

Now Chris is at work and I'll be going to sleep soon, so I can be up with the doorbusters in the morning for the requisite Black Friday story.
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Giving Thanks

Being married to my best friend.

The best little sister a kid could ask for.

Wonderful parents (including the two new ones I picked up over the summer), a
terrific extended family, and all the little blessings bestowed upon
many of our cousins and friends this year.

Dad and Deb with their brand-new great-niece Juliette (daughter of Jen & Jim)

Mom with her nephew Neco and brand-new great-nephew Zach (son of Tanya & Jason)

Kiera (daughter of Melynda & Edward) and Makayla (daughter of Daniel and Holly)

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

So much for my Plan B

Since we both make jewelry, my co-worker Kristin and I decided to have a table today at the annual RGJ employee craft fair. Unsure what to expect, we didn't make a whole lot of goods -together we had about a dozen pair of earrings, three bracelets and two necklaces. A half hour before the fair started, I thought I should head out to the lobby and snag us a good table. I got the last one ... and discovered just about everyone else was also selling jewelry, and they had way more product than we did. I can't say how the rest of the booths did, but it seemed pretty slow all around. Many of our newsroom colleagues came by and complimented our goods, but few made any purchases. In three hours, we each sold two pieces of jewelry. Yesterday, I said I'd be happy if I made $20 - which I did, so I can't complain, especially considering the fair was held the day before payday. And, I made more than enough to buy some apple-pear-plum preserves from our neighbor - which is delicious. (Holly, if you still have those pears I'd suggest making some.) Maybe next year we'll give it another shot with a better display and a better location ... in the meantime, anybody need stocking stuffers?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Saying Goodbye

It's never easy to say goodbye to a loved one. It's especially difficult when that loved one is a child. There are so many questions, some we may never know the answers to. Here's what I do know - Kiara brought joy into the lives of everyone she ever met. In her six years on this earth, she touched so many lives that the service was standing-room only. I don't know why she was taken away, but I believe that when she was here she brought her family closer in a way that for many years seemed impossible. I pray that time will bring peace to her father, my cousin. I wish I'd had the chance to know her better, but I know that I am blessed to have known her at all. Kiara was a gift, and it's an understatement to say that she will be missed.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Leavin' on a jet plane

So, I just booked a flight to visit my sister from Jan. 15-22.
Can anyone guess why I changed my plans to go that week instead of during the Cherry Blossom Festival?
(If I have already told you, do not guess. Duh, it takes all the fun out.)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I made spaghetti!

Thanks for the recipe, Alison!

Okay, so I realize this is no extraordinary feat. But it is exciting for two reasons: one, because it was the first time I made sauce instead of using a jar. And two, because in the middle of the week I was able to make dinner for my wonderful husband two nights in a row! (If you count reheating leftover chicken and making new sides as making dinner. Which I do.) Tomorrow it's back to the late shift. Bah.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

You have got to be kidding me

See that? It's the check engine light. Again.
(I think I'll blame Michelle for this, since she asked how my car was doing in the
wee hours of the morning Wednesday and this happened later that afternoon.)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election Night

I officially became a reporter in October 2004, so this was not my first presidential election. However, it was the first time I was involved in the reporting. (Though I have worked various other school board, school bond and primary elections). Back in 2004, as I recall, a bunch of us from the paper in Yuma got together to watch the results come in. At the time, Benny and Michelle were on their honeymoon - so I'm trying to figure out how it was possible that none of the rest of us were working ... unless we just had our watch party really, really late. Does anyone remember - Kat? Jeffrey? Rich?

Anyway, last night I heard from a couple friends who used to be reporters and they seemed a little down about missing out on the excitement of the newsroom during a presidential election. But even though I was working, I somehow missed the excitement, too. In the afternoon and evening, I did a couple of videos. Once the polls closed, I was sent to the county Registrar of Voters office to observe and file updates for the Web site and be there in case there were any mishaps. I was squished into a small space with photographers and videographers from various news outlets, with the door wide open for when the polling managers arrived. It was freezing cold (it had snowed earlier in the day) and I had to put on a jacket, gloves and scarf to keep warm. There were no TVs, so I found out very anti-climactically online that Barack Obama was the new president-elect. I saw no reaction, no speeches. No one around me was really talking about it. I expected a buzz, but there was nothing. Though I can watch videos online, I felt like I had missed something big.

Meanwhile, polling managers trickled in at first, dropping off cartridges from the electronic voting machines to be counted and then uploaded, and then they arrived in a steady stream. Finally, just three were left. Then one. We waited at least 40 minutes for that last one. (One of the workers suggested the manager at that location must have been really articulate. I think she meant meticulous. Heehee.) Anyway, she finally showed up and everyone thought we were in the homestretch for final results. Of course, it was too good to be true. When uploading the last batch of cartridges, the system said there were too many blank ones and they had to double check them - but first they had to find those 40 blank cartridges out of more than 1,300, boxed in no particular order. This took a long time, and it was nearly 1:30 in the morning before we had those "final unofficial" results in our hot little hands. I spent most of today feeling exhausted, and still feeling like I missed something.

Our Arizona Trip, Part Two: The Wedding

Marc and Kristin's wedding at the Tucson Country Club was beautiful and they both seemed so happy. Chris was a groomsman, and we were very glad to be a part of such a wonderful day.

The Happy Couple

The Bridal Party

Chris and Me

They had fireworks!

The Boys: Kyle, Ernesto, Chris, Marc, Daniel and Edward

The Girls: Holly, Melynda, Kristin, Me and Kelli

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Our Arizona Trip, Part One

Wednesday night Chris and I flew to Arizona for a very busy few days of visiting with family and friends in the Phoenix and Tucson areas.

Chris spent Thursday golfing with his dad, while Rita, Alison and I went shopping, had pedicures and lunched at my favorite Gilbert barbecue joint.
After dinner with the Gabels, Chris and I hung out with my friends from the Trib - Sarah, Tom, Chris and Christian. It was great catching up with everyone. Sarah made cupcakes!

The main reason we made the trip was for Marc and Kristin's wedding in Tucson, so Friday we all headed down for the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.

Four couples rented a house for the weekend. We were in somewhat of a hurry to get ready for the rehearsal once we got there, and somehow I managed to lock myself out of the bathroom with the straightening iron plugged in inside. Apparently, the lock was put on wrong. We eventually got it figured out (thanks, Daniel!) but it was quite the fiasco.

Since the rehearsal coincided with Halloween, the kids wore their costumes so they could go trick-or-treating later. They all looked so cute!

They had a lot of fun playing with Uncle Chris.

For the rehearsal dinner, Kristin lined the walkway leading up to the building with pumpkins, and inside were more pumpkins, along with Halloween pictures of her and Marc when they were little. Everything looked great, and we had a really nice time.