Saturday, January 30, 2016

December in Review

Christmas month! Though I don't think it ever felt totally like Christmas to me. Alas. December!

I guess around my neighborhood every year there's a bit nativity scene for one night only. We took the girls from church as our weekly activity. It was kind cold, but cool. I was a little obsessed with the camels. Where does one rent a camel?!



Christmas treats started to appear.

Sergio and I hit up the symphony one night for Beethoven's Ode to Joy, as well as a commissioned piece from Nico Muhly. I should do this more often.

I went down to Taylor's one Sunday for dinner. Niece time!


Trader Joe's had some beautiful wreathes and I needed to get festive. 

Tara invited me to the Lower Lights Christmas show, and wow, were there a lot of people on stage. I enjoyed it.

I grabbed dinner at the new Chedda Burger and the owner made us some crazy fries, since he was out of the ones we really wanted.

After burgers, off to see Foals - my favorite band in the world right now. They're so amazing. And I was annoyed that they were opening. Ty and I left after their set - I was rockingly satisfied.


I went to The Sound of Music sing-a-long at Tower. Not well advertised, and I'm glad Lacey told me about it! Her cousin and aunt dressed up for the costume contest - they're on the far right as warm woolen mittens.

Such fun!

Abe and Kim had me over for dinner one night and we played Settlers. I love this game! It'd been a long time since I played.

Winter came in. It was pretty.



I almost forgot about all the Christmas dishes I purchased last year. I got out mugs to take to a house party.

Meghan got the Austin mug since she just accepted a job there. I will miss her, but I'm excited to visit!

For the second year, I volunteered at Granger Elementary's holiday party, handing out gifts to the kids and helping them with holiday crafts. It's also where Lacey and I met last year. Here's to a year of friendship! The kids made us a cute card.

 Packaging fail.

I got tackled by third graders.

I finished up my Junior Achievement lessons and took a photo with the kids for the last day. I didn't realize how enthusiastically they'd gather in.

Mom got tickets in the lottery for the MoTab Christmas concert, so Celisse and I braved the downtown traffic to get there.

Such a wonderful show. I was in love with the soloists from the Met Opera and very impressed with the production. It'll air next December on PBS!



I went with Jeff back to the symphony to see Home Alone on the big screen while the symphony played the score. It was absolutely delightful.


Tashina and Rob came into town with their sweet new baby, and Celisse made us a delicious dinner while we caught up on life.

I met this kid when he was in high school, visiting Georgetown. Crazy that he's a dad now!


Hallie is getting used to her little sister. They're so cute.

Azhar invited me over to a party with some of her friends from Iraq and Jordan. There was so much food! I couldn't stay for the dancing party after dinner, but they made sure I was stuffed before I left!




Friday, January 08, 2016

Thanksgiving Adventures in Moab

My first trip to Moab!  I'm slowly getting around to checking things off the Utah must-see list.

Maybe back in October, I was kicking around Thanksgiving ideas, wondering who would be around and if I should host dinner or collaborate and host, and Celisse mentioned that she knew someone who was organizing a trip to either Moab or St George. We got in on the planning stages, and this little group came together and we headed off to some National Parks for a few days.

Matt was amazing in planning (maybe too organized, is that possible? I was impressed) and all we had to do was show up to some condos and have a good time. I didn't really know anyone before we went, so I was slightly nervous about the group balance, but everyone was excellent! We had a great few days.

Celisse and I picked up Melanie (who I'd known very, very briefly in DC, and it was lovely to reconnect) on the way down, and we pushed our way through a snowstorm in Spanish Fork canyon on Wednesday night. I hated, hated, hated driving in it, but we made it.  A couple other people driving down luckily missed the snow, but their car blew up and Luke had to go rescue them late at night.

Alas, I woke up Thanksgiving morning, welcoming the cold sunshine, and went on a hike with Melanie and Bekah to Corona Arch.









We came back to the condos, where everyone had been working on our feast! I managed to make my famous from last year french silk pie, and we had a delicious meal!


Stuffing is always my favorite part.

And these sweet potatoes were like candy.


Our dwellings. Perfect for our group - two condos across the hall from each other, and plenty of space for all.

After dinner we scrambled in cards to get out to Canyonlands and see the sunset. It was a race against the clock, since sunset was so early. And I was so sleepy! Had to fight through the post-dinner nap.




Some cool moon rising after we got back, though I need to learn how to capture it better. 

The next morning we all set off on a variety of adventures, despite the cold.



Celisse and I popped into Arches for the day, since we'd never been.


I didn't realize how big this place is!





The next morning we did a hike to Delicate Arch. It had snowed the night before and was quite pretty. But quite cold!






Moab - I'll definitely be back!

And here's a video Melanie made of our getaway, too! 
Moab Friendsgiving 2015 from Melanie S on Vimeo.

A Long (overdue update on) December 2016

Holidays 2016! At work we continued our tradition of attending a cooking class at Sur la Table. It's an excellent time and I definitel...