Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Chinese New Year

Happy Chinese New Year!  Welcome to the year of the dragon!  The dragon is a very important creature to Chinese people so maybe that means great things for 2012!

I certainly had a great weekend!  We kicked it off on Friday night by going to my favorite sushi restaurant Namiko's and chowing down on several delicious items.  Namiko's is owned by a Japanese woman that named the restaurant after her daughter.  I go so often that both Namiko and her mom recognize me and always stop to talk.  I love supporting small, family owned businesses and this place is awesome.  I take all my friends and family that like sushi to this restaurant when they're in town.  Look at this amazing roll!

The next morning we drove up to Keystone for another ski day.  Ryan wanted to miss traffic so we were up very early and were in the Keystone parking lot before many other people arrived and well before the lifts opened.
That gave us plenty of time to enjoy a coffee at the cute little coffee bar Inxspot.
Once the lifts opened up we hit the slopes!  It was a super cold day but thankfully we packed hand and feet warmers.  The feet warmers didn't seem to be working well so we stopped up at the summit to pull our feet out of our boots and expose them to air to make sure they were activated.  It helped immensely!

I did soooo much better skiing than I ever have before so I was really happy with the day.  Unfortunately, at one point when I was supposed to meet Ryan at a certain spot I accidentally skied all the way to the base of the mountain.  Oops.  So I called it a day and waited for him to finish up some runs.

Epic Mix, which links our passes to photos taken of us on the slopes, took a cool picture of Ryan coming down the mountain.  I asked Ryan if they took any of me and he stifled a giggle before he replied that they don't take action shots on the slopes I ski.  Hmpf and hmpf.

Saturday night we went to Amy and Dion's for a delicious meal and good company.  Amy always makes the best meals!

They demonstrated the new whiskey container they received in a white elephant gift exchange.

And gave Ryan an awesome "new" old school camera as a joke because his "new" work phone doesn't have a camera on it!

Sunday morning after church and coffee we went out for dim sum with Sue, Marlene, Roy, and Jodi.  Because it was the first weekend after the New Year The Empress was very busy and had celebrations.  They lit off a ton of firecrackers that they had hanging outside and also had dancers come into the restaurant.  So much fun!

That is about all the excitement for the weekend but I'll also share this picture of China watching the Dumb Friends League fundraising telethon.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Cones and Blankies

Well hello there!  It's been a long time!  My apologies.  I've been running around a bit crazily lately between my year end closing duties at work and other happenings around the household.  So let me back up and try to recap the goings on for the last week.

Last Saturday I was pleasantly surprised with a package from Leslie's mom, Momma Sharon, when I got home from work.  I've mentioned before how much I enjoy getting packages but usually I'm expecting them; it is so much more fun to receive an unexpected one!  Momma Sharon and her sister made us another awesome blankie!  Actually, it isn't technically for us as it's a little mini blankie meant for our small fur babies.  So adorable!  AND she sent some of her delicious caramels too!  I used to eat my body weight in her homemade caramels and have never found anything that tastes nearly as good.  What a wonderful treat!

Here the girls are on their new blankie while Ryan's watching the Broncos playoff loss (boo) with his blankie.

Also last weekend, China had a small rash on her belly so Ryan doctored her up with some ointment, which warranted us putting the cone on her.  I swear it wasn't just for our entertainment (but it was pretty funny)!

We also spent a lot of time last weekend and last week shopping for a vehicle as Ryan gave his two weeks notice to his current employer and apparently they want their truck back.  We did finally find his perfect vehicle this Friday night and I'll have to upload pictures of the Batmobile when we pick it up.  Oh, and yes he does have a new job which is a very exciting opportunity.

We saw this as we were driving around to car dealers.  Cracks me up:
I think Ryan is referencing some Will Ferrell movie here, which is a good sign that we were still having fun even when negotiating for a vehicle:
Ryan surprised me this week with an awesome bookshelf in the kitchen.  I'd been wanting to find something to hold my cookbooks and now that Ryan isn't travelling anymore he built me this case this week while I was working late.  Isn't that gorgeous? 

This weekend we got to enjoy Ethiopian food !  I've been wanting to try it ever since I read Cutting for Stone and I lucked out and found a Groupon to Abyssinia Market Cafe.  You use this spongy bread (injera) to pick up the different stews (I don't know what else to call them) as you are not given any utensils.  Everything was really yummy and I love eating with my hands but I don't have any good pictures because it was such an intimate and dimly lit place I didn't want to blind everyone with my flash.  I did get a picture of our Ethiopian beers.

I also went shopping this weekend and got these sweet ruby red slippers at Bella A Boutique, a super cute small business in Arvada that I like to support.  I've already had a few comments about the Wizard of Oz...but everyone notices them!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Party Time!

You might think I"m going to write about Ryan's and my New Year's Eve plans; however, that is not correct as we didn't even make it up until midnight that night!  We did make a nice dinner and stayed up until at least 10:30...I think.  Honestly, after we got home from Kansas we spent a lot of time just chilling at home.  I used the the time to read The Hunger Games trilogy (which was amazing) which pushed me well over my goal of how many books I would read last year.  I can't wait for the movie now!  We also watched The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, went to Arvada Beer Company, and watched some football.  It was wonderful to spend some down time at home.

The parties I'm speaking of all happened last weekend.  It was super fun and busy!  On Friday night we went over to a friend's house to watch the Cotton Bowl.  There were a bunch of other K-State alums there and I even met another woman who had been in my sorority at a different time.  What a small world!  Too bad we didn't beat the pigs (Arkansas) but we had a really fun time anyway.  I only got one blurry bad picture on my iPhone.
The next night we had our friend Scott's birthday party.  So much fun to see old friends and meet new ones.

Shots for the birthday boy:

Bridget, Chris, and Ryan:
Me and Dana (apparently I do not have a concept of personal space - sorry I practically sat on you Dana!):

The next day we went to the Broncos playoff game against the Steelers!  My old boss got me the tickets and even invited us to tailgate with him and his friends so, of course, we accepted.  All of his friends were a lot of fun and made us feel very welcome.  Being met with a beer in a parking lot before noon is never a bad way to start off a day.

Me and Jeff, my old boss, and his friend Chris

I was apparently so excited to get to our seats I pretty much ditched Ryan on the escalator.  Sorry!

I even bought a new good luck beanie for the game.

The game was amazing!  Unfortunately, I really, really had to go to the bathroom pretty much the whole 4th quarter and just could not wait any longer so I went at the end of regulation because I figured I'd have time to get back to my seat before overtime got underway.  Who knew that it would end in a record short time of 11 seconds!!!  I ended up watching the play on the concourse TV and celebrating with some random girl that hugged me and started jumping up and down and poor Ryan was still stuck in the bathroom.  Here we are celebrating after the game was over.  Also, I took video of our walk out of the stadium to show how crazy it was!

What a great weekend!  Man was I ever tired on Monday.  Thank goodness I didn't get super busy with my year end duties until Tuesday.  And speaking of Tuesday, I got a special treat because Ryan's and my friend Chris was in town from Dallas for work and I was able to meet him for dinner at Earl's.  Ryan and Chris were fraternity brothers and roommates in college and Chris' wife, Jenell, and I were sorority sisters and roommates in college and we've stayed in touch since then.  It was so great to see Chris and hear how Jenell and their two beautiful baby girls are doing.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Final Days in Kansas

Ryan and I stayed in Kansas on the Tuesday and Wednesday after Christmas.  Ryan worked while I played.  On Tuesday I got to spend the day with Ryan's Mom, Linda.  She took me on my first trip to Charming Charlie's and I was so overwhelmed!  If you like accessories like we do then this is the place for you!  We enjoyed lunch at Cheeseburger in Paradise and then got to see Kelly, Mason, and Reid.  Such a great date with my favorite mother-in-law and getting to see good friends.  I'm afraid I might not have been the best company considering I stayed up so late the night (or should I say morning) before.  We'll blame my sleepiness on my lack of pictures.

Later that night we went to Rob and Jaime's for some Petro Deli fried chicken.  Rob and Jaime, along with other family members, run the two Petro Deli locations in Topeka and Lansing and believe me, they have the best fried chicken and Ryan and I ask for it every time we're back.  The kids also received some late snail mail and emails from Santa.

The next day I slept in and then met my brothers for lunch at Pho Hoa.  Clayton introduced me to a new obsession - I think it's called Banh Mi but I could be wrong.  Anyway, they're these little Vietnamese sandwiches that are so yummy.  I love hanging out with my brothers.
Then I did a little shopping for K-State gear.  It's hard to come by in Denver and I have to be careful not to get anything with just the Power Cat on it because there is a nearby high school that uses it as their logo and I don't want to be that creepy lady that doesn't have a high school kid but still wears the high school gear, you know?  Don't you think this would look nice in our basement?

That night we had dinner with Vearl, Linda, Rob, Jaime, and the kids.  We got up really early the next morning to head back home.  Luckily, we got to meet Leslie in Topeka for breakfast but too bad Luke had to work. 
Because Ryan's territory includes Kansas he checked on a couple stores on our way back.  One of the stores was in Manhattan so I got him to drive me past some of our old haunts.  I'll always have great memories of my time in that town and at that school.  This is the hill we got engaged on.

The rest of the drive was pretty uneventful, thankfully.  The weather was great and for most of the trip the peewees slept on my lap except when I stuck them in the back so we could eat lunch.