Wednesday, December 18, 2013


I hope you’re having a lovely December and that no matter what stage you are in your preparation craziness, you are taking time to enjoy the special magic that comes with the holiday season.  I am feeling so happy, and blessed this year to have some many amazing people who love and support me.  I was talking to Lucas last night about how much he adores his grandfathers.  Really, truly, loves and respects them with all his heart and soul.  I was reminded of so many things in this conversation.  I reflected on my own grandfather, and how Lucas would have enjoyed him so much, and it’s a shame that he never got to really know him.  I thought about my own relationships, and like so many people during these days of Christmas and family, I am missing so many people who aren’t here, or who I’ve just simply lost touch with (some of you even get an email from me every week!)  And mostly, Lucas reminded me that you truly do get what you put into a relationship.  And it’s hard to be best friends with everyone, to have meaningful relationships with a multitude, but the ones you do make special, truly are.  So no matter how you are spending your December, please know, that you are truly special to so many people and take time hug those who you so have the good fortune to see. 

I’m not really sure where I left off last week.  Monday, I got to have lunch with Fred and Jay, which a total delight.  And it was a company celebration day, so we had donuts and lattes in the morning.  That same evening, I went to Diana’s made fudge.   On Tuesday, it did NOT snow.   Wednesday was the launch of the new comic book I’ve been working on, so we had a launch party at a local Comic Book store for a signing and what not.   Pretty sure I caught one of my co-workers doodling inside one of the comics, but that’s what I get for giving artists a marker and asking them to sit still for two hours. 

We’ve been trying to get me “educated” enough to watch the 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who, so on Wednesday, we were final ready.  Only, by the time I got home, Zach was hanging out with friends.  Lucas also wanted to watch it, but didn’t think he could stay up long enough for Zach & Co. to finish their game. 

Lucas: Zach….. You know how you like mornings?
Zach: Uh… not especially.
Me: and Doctor Who?
Zach: What?
Lucas: We’re gonna watch the 50th episode at 6:30 AM tomorrow. Good night!

And we did.  Despite all reason.  J 

On Friday, I was invited to go to the Harebrained Schemes Holiday party at K1 Go Karting place.  I had high hopes, but was very disappointed to find that as soon as I put the mask and helmet on, I got hella claustrophobic. I was able crack a small space to enable easier breathing, but overall, I didn’t have any need to win the race.  Some other guests got much more into the competitive nature of the race – including Nate and Zach who got *too* competitive to the point where everyone watching looked at Dawne and said, “I wouldn’t want to go home with those two.”  Lucky us!  After the KI portion of the evening, we all went to see the 2nd Hobbit movie.  Dawne and I hadn’t seen the first Hobbit, but Jordan did a synapsis of the three hour move in two sentences and we were good to go.  

The next morning, the plan had been for half the fam to go up to Steven’s Pass to go skiing, and then I was going to meet everyone on Sunday at Leavenworth with the pups.  However, the fam woke up beaten and bruised from the “fun” they had the night before on the track and couldn’t even consider a day at the slopes.  Instead, we all piled into the car and went straight to Leavenworth.  Oh wait! Before we did that, we sold the mini-quarter pipe that had been sitting in the garage.  Thanks Craigslist!

On our way up, we stopped at Safeway.
Dawne: We better pick up a magazine for the long trip.
Clerk: Oh! Where are you going?
Dawne: Leavenworth.
Clerk (calculating that it was only about a two hour drive from that point.): Where are you from?
Dawne: Bellevue.
Me: For us, that’s a serious road trip.  We’ve packed snacks and juice boxes to go to Renton (a 20 min drive.)

We stopped on our way to let the pups run around in the snow which was nice.  Now, last year, when the fam went to Leavenworth, they met up accidentally with Rach and Anders, who got engaged on that same day.  Naturally, when we saw them again this year, we all presented them cards to celebrate “Our” anniversary. :P  We tried to run into them, but Leavenworth was packed, like could hardly walk, packed.  Some people thought it was because of the Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony, but we all know the real reason, “Switchmas.”  I movie currently available on Netflix about a little Jewish boy that ends up in Christmas Town, AKA, Leavenworth.  I don’t want to ruin the soon to be classic for you, so I’ll leave it at that. Unless you do want it ruined, in which case here’s the trailer:

And… on Sunday, I finished Christmas shopping, did laundry, packed, and wrapped to a point where I was feeling gosh darn good with myself by the time Monday morning rolled around.  J

I hope are feeling great about your upcoming holidays! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mailing Stuff is Hard

Update 12/2 - 12/8

I put my Christmas cards in the mail Monday morning, and only made a couple of mess ups.  I am always weirdly excited about sending holiday cards.  Part of this is because I get to take pictures of Percy, partly because I get to watch Love Actually, and partly because I think sending things in the mail is just super fun.  Let me rephrase.  The idea of people receiving things in the mail is super fun, the part where we write addresses, stamp things, and then go to the post office, not as much fun.  There have been years where I made the cards. And there were years that I made the cards and then never put them in the mail.  This year, I bought cards, and then they arrived in two different sizes.  One size was perfect, the other was too small to hold my pictures.  Also, I couldn't decide on which picture, so I sent three which meant no matter what there was going to be extra postage.  Anyway, I ended up having to put the little cards into big envelopes, and it totally looked ghetto, and I'm sorry for the batch of you that got those cards.  Know that I could have just sent the little card alone, but then you'd be denied the cuteness that is my pup, and I can't do that to you during the holiday season.   As I said, mail is not my forte so not only did Pam get two cards, Julie and Kathi might never get theirs because sending anything to Germany is hard.  While writing out the cards, I asked Becky what her address was, and she started looking for her address labels to tell me.  I did the only logical thing. 

First, Laina has an 8ft tall glittery painting of Gene Simmons.  We received this text from her last week. Finally hanging Gene. We have a mattress on the stairs and I told Mo I have already dialed 911 and just need to hit send. I asked Mo if he would have to go back to Afghanistan if he broke his arm. Sort of made me want to remove the mattress from the stairs....

How did this get in there?

On Wednesday, I went to see Jimmy Fallon.  I was supposed to go with Laina, but she and Mo weren't willing to leave their love nest, so Becky joined.  When we got there, I though, "I'm not sure I can handle two hours of Jimmy Fallon."  I was so very pleasantly surprised to find that he was just hosting the evening and we got to listen to some seriously amusing comedians including Julian McCullough, Nate Bargatze, Nick Thune & Seth Herzog.

Zach tried to find us something to watch on TV. 
Zach: I thought this said unpopular shows and I thought they made a category for us!!
Sad but true.  We ended up watching Doctor Who. Zach told me I couldn't watch this particular show from the beginning because I didn't have time to catch up on 50 years.  I conceded, and just told him I had to at least get a feel for it so that my first watching wasn't the anniversary season.   We came to an agreement.   We have cherry picked the episodes (all Matt Smith) so that I would be prepared for the 50th anniversary episode... which I think we'll be watching tonight!

On Friday evening, I went down to the brown house to take a shower and get ready for bed.  It felt a little chilly, so I checked if the heat was on, and was surprised to see that the temperature was 45 degrees in the house.  I figured I could tough it out though, and climbed into bed.  After about an hour of shivering, whilst I tried to convince my body to get up and go up to the yellow house, I finally fell asleep.  Turns out, three large windows were taken out to make space for sliding glass windows.  That would explain the temperature drop, I guess. 

Lucas: You know what is a great song?
Me: Fast Car by Tracy Chapman
Lucas: No, three blind mice by classical.

On Saturday, I went over to Pam’s and took pictures of the adorable snuggle bug that is Lucy.  Percy also got to play for a bit, which he super enjoyed.  Although, I don’t think Pam appreciated all of the fun “tricks” that he taught Lucy, like walking along the top of the couch or running behind the TV and other furniture.  We just love to help!

Later the same day, I met up with Elan, Kelly, D, J & L for the Urban Craft Uprising, followed by a coffee chat.  And on Sunday, I went over to Raymond’s for bit, and did some other stuff I can’t remember… and a little bit of Doctor Who and then the week was all done!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Turkey for 44 to Go, Please.

Nala and Percy got groomed on Tuesday.  Percy looked awesome, but Nala, who has naturally curly hair, was kind of a poof ball.  Dawne usually blow dries her hair straight, but I guess we forgot to tell the guys at PetCo about that.  Days later, people were asking us if Nala was pregnant again.  Good thing Nala (at least) isn't vain.  Although, she didn’t seem too happy about the impromptu photo shoot that I included her in.

Text convo with my co-worker.
Tyler: Somebody stole your car and was driving like an old lady outta crossroads.
Me: I think that was me. I just got back from getting T-Day craft supplies.  We have to entertain 45 people.
Tyler: And clearly puzzles and Popsicle turkeys are the best route.  Imagine how epic Popsicle stick Indians would be!
Me: Maybe next year.
Tyler: But Michaels is still open!
Me: Oh, I have the popcicle sticks.  What kind of house do you think I live in!?  It's just not on the itinerary.
Tyler: YET!

Wednesday evening, Nater came home from Chicago, and we headed to Red Robin for dinner.
Nate: Good to see nothing has changed in the kitchen.
Lucas: What are you talking about? The glasses are bigger and now the menu looks like the Cheesecake Factory. 

When we got home, the power was out at the brown house, which meant we still had power in the yellow house so that tables could be set and I could get mac and cheese and sweet potatoes made.  Unfortunately, after we went to bed, the yellow house power went out as well.   Jordan tried moving foods to other locations to keep them cold.  When we awoke, the power was restored, but the turkey was all rotted out.  Jordan ran over to get two frozen turkeys, and we worked to get those defrosted and cooked in time. 

Jordan (after putting the Turkey's in the oven): You need to call Becky's husband Jared.
Me (worried about the turkey): Sure, why?
Jordan: He need to come change the clocks in here.

For lunch we ran over to McDonalds where Jordan asked the clerk if he could get turkey for 44 to go.  She was not amused.

At one point, Percy jumped up on the kitchen chair so that he could be a part of the action and also take a little snoozer.  Lucas, however, wanted to sit in this seat, so he began to spin the chair as fast as possible, until finally, Percy decided to vacate the seat.
Lucas: See, it was his own choice.

We had 44 people for Thanksgiving, and it was lovely.  I thought it was the easiest and most enjoyable one yet.  I got to sit at an awesome table with dear people, and I had zero stress.  We must be getting better at this. :)

Me: I don't know if anyone has mentioned, but we have a tradition in this house that the newbie has to say grace.
Newbie (AKA Sarah, girlfriend of guest.): There is nothing I would want to do less, than to say grace.
Jordan: Oh that's okay, you can sing it instead!

Newbie did NOT say grace, breaking the long standing tradition of putting our guests on the spot.  What a disappoint.

We played games over dessert, and got a surprise appearance from Diana and Jason.

Jason (referring to his pregnant wife): Did you see the Turkey that's ready to pop over there?
Jeff: I'm terribly uncomfortable right now. 
Jason: We're totally ready for game day!
Jeff: You know that there won't be a little button that pops out when it's fully cooked right?

Diana: I can't wait to have this kid so I can put my feet up and relax.
Me: Um... I'm not sure if that's how babies work.
Diana: I take that back.  She can stay in this neat packaging for as long as she needs.

After showing folks this adorable gallery of pictures of puppy and baby naps:

Nater: Shame the baby is so ugly.

The next morning, we were listening to some Christmas music, when a Peter, Paul and Mary song came on.
Dawne: This sounds depressing.
Me: You hold your tongue! This is Peter, Paul and Mary! Besides, they're talking about the birth of Christ.
Lucas: Was whatshisface the mid-wife in that situation?
Me: Do you mean, Joseph?
Lucas: Yeah! That guy.  But seriously, he was the only one around right?

Over breakfast at IHop, we were talking about movies.
Lucas: You know what movie was a ride?
Me: Mama Mia?
Lucas: Yes! That was as intense as Alien. 
I think Nate is still shaking his head over this comment.

Last week, after the Ugly Sweater Run, my co-worker Ryan, sympathized with Lucas' knee injury telling him that he too did the same thing to his knees, and they never really recovered.  He did offer some suggestions to ease the pain, but said he hadn't found a solution yet.  A week later...

Lucas: Have you ever feared that you might never to run again?
Me: Not really, though, I was a little worried when I hurt my ankle.
Lucas: Me neither, until I met your friend Ryan.
Nater: Actually, for me, that's a hope, not a fear.

Friday, I made homemade split pea soup, watched some terrible Netflix movies, and then celebrated the Sabbath with the fam followed by some Spades? With D, J & N.  On Saturday, Becky and Diana came over to write out Christmas cards.  It was just a coincidence that while the fam went to celebrate Hanukkah, I was sending cards with Jesus on the front of them.   This year, I couldn't decide on just one picture of Percy, so I sent three.  This required additional postage, but it was totally worth it.  Here's a couple of ones that I didn't send:

On Sunday, we went to our monthly brunch which was being held at Laina and Mo's house.  Laina had just received a shiny new engagement ring, and was showing it off to everyone.

Nate: I've never been so tempted to lift something off someone's finger.
Laina: You've just received an automatic invite to every event we ever have here.

Laina was purposely picking up things just so that you could see the ring.  Including this text

"Watching Mo play soccer."

Later that evening, we went to see Frozen with the whole fam, as Zach finally got some time off of work. 
Nate: I want to see a Disney ad budget.
Zach: In quarters. On my front porch.

The movie was a delight, though, I've been told that I am partial to the Disney Princess movies.  Just a lil bit.  :P