Christmas Break

Mark and I were treated to another white Christmas this year in Colorado! Good thing we didn’t fly in on the 22nd or my family might not have been able to pick us up from the airport because of the snowstorm. Either that or the flight might have been cancelled! And did I get any pictures of all this beautiful snow? Nope. Classic.

We flew in Friday and stayed with my brother for a night in Denver before driving to Greeley on Saturday to spend time with my mom, aunt and uncle. The customary Christmas Eve dinner at my aunt’s and uncle’s place is my uncle’s famous spaghetti, accompanied with tiramisu and of course pumpkin pie for dessert! It was all fabulous, especially because a neighbor brought over a pumpkin pie made from scratch (crust and all) that she removed from the oven minutes before walking over to deliver it. Don’t mind if I do.

Seeing family is always so refreshing to me. The good news: we get to go back in June because my friend Breanna asked me to be in her wedding! So we get to see everyone again in only six short months. :) Love.

The only picture I got this break:


Mission Impossible

Here’s a cell phone shot of the Space Needle as we waited outside the IMAX at the Pacific Science Center to see Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. At least it wasn’t freezing outside. OH WAIT. But no snow on the ground so I suppose we can’t complain too much!

Back to the movie: a weak plot but what’s a plot anyway for an MI movie but a vehicle for cool gadgetry and terrific stunts? The shots of Tom Cruise climbing a half-mile high building in Dubai were absolutely breathtaking – I thought I was going to fall over. It’s a great movie to watch in the IMAX if you get the chance, if only for that scene.

Hearing that Mission Impossible music gave me flashbacks of playing laser tag in high school, and also of watching the MI television show reruns with my uncle. Good memories!

This year's gift exchange haul

We participated in two nice and/or white elephant gift exchanges this year and fared well for the most part! The first was my company Christmas party, which not only saw the return of the gift exchange (which had been nixed the past three years) but also the return of a popular piano player who apparently used to appear at our Christmas parties years and years ago. He played beautifully and also passed out caroling song books and led us all in Christmas carols around the piano! :) I don't know about you but that's my perfect Christmas party. The gift exchange rules dictated that your gift could be either nice or gag as long as it was under the $15 limit. We took a growler of Interurban Pale Ale from the Fremont Brewery and ended up with this solid glass vase from Crate and Barrel! I'm not too jazzed about the color but it'll look pretty with fresh flowers in it.

The second gift exchange was at a house party where the rules made it clear that the gift exchange item must be an item found in your house - no buying allowed. I got a glass fish bowl with all the fixings - fish food (partially opened - the previous owner's fish must have met an untimely death), pebbles, miniature castle, and fake plant! Mark didn't end up with anything great though - an Asian themed faberget egg complete with a wooden stand. It might make its way to a gift exchange next year...

#59: Decorate a themed Christmas tree

Since this is as themed as it's going to get, here's my submission for 100 List #59: decorate a themed Christmas tree. Our tree is (mostly) red and gold with a few accents thrown in, and this also marks the first tree of ours that has sported white lights instead of colored lights. Every year I forget to take stock of our Christmas decorations and every year I find myself making a trip during the actual decorating of the tree to Walgreens/Target/wherever to pick up additional decorations I thought I had! This year was no different - I thought I'd finally amassed enough white lights but I ended up buying three more strands. And I still think it could use more lights!

The tree is a noble fir, and I think it's about 7 feet tall. I struggled to get the star up there, even with a chair, because I was too impatient to wait for Mark to come home and do it. This is also the first year we've had a topper on the tree and I love it!

On my bookshelf

“A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say something radical. I believe everyone should read this book. And no, don’t try to get out of it by saying you’ve watched “A Muppet Christmas Carol”. The book, while very short, goes much deeper than the movies can and will make you pause and consider the role of generosity in your own life. It’s quite excellent. 

“Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte

I’m only 70 pages in but I’ve been thoroughly captivated by the tempestuousness and passion of little Jane Eyre. This is one of the few books that I’ve picked up without reading any summaries or picking up any clues at all on what the book might be about (save that it’s about a girl named Jane) and I’m enjoying discovering the plot on my own. I’m an “advanced notice” kind of person in that I like to know what I’m getting into, so I always research movies we watch or read the summaries of TV episodes before I watch them. I just like to be prepared, I guess!

So why am I into the classics at the moment? I downloaded the Kindle app to my iPad and searched their free collections for classic books I’ve never read that have made it into the public domain. Also waiting for me in my virtual bookshelf: “The Time Machine” by H.G. Wells and “Les Miserables” by Victor Hugo.

Madame Tussaud's wax museum (pic heavy!)

While we were in Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago, we got to visit the Madame Tussauds wax museum in Hollywood. They were having a Veterans Day special (11/11/11) where you could buy admission for only $11 instead of the normal $25. Some of the wax figurines were disturbingly lifelike, like the Robert Pattinson statue outside the museum that kept getting moved around Hollywood to entice people to visit the museum. I kept expecting him to break character and start high-fiving people or something. Or biting their necks.

Here are some of my favorite pictures we took in the museum. (Click the link below Robert to see more pictures). Warning: this post is picture heavy!