It's the Most Crazy Time of the Year... er, Wonderful!

Well, as many of you already know, it has been a pretty crazy couple of weeks in our house.  Chris has been lucky enough to be slammed with work, which is wonderful news, however he is a bit too slammed.  He has recruited me to be his little apprentice, helping out with as much as I can without getting too technical, and is working late into the night (morning?) each night trying to finish these projects before our holiday plans kick into gear on Friday.  In other words, it's crunch time.

So... not a whole lot has been happening in our world as a result.  Other than takeout and construction blueprints covering our floor like a bomb went off, that is.  

I did however, get to take my bestie to a Christmas show (her birthday gift from a few months ago) last week.  Even though we were both exhausted, and had no time for such festivities, we pulled ourselves together and made a fun evening of it.

On another fun note, I received news that my first greeting card is being "published."  I say it with quotations as it is still in the testing phase, but still exciting to see my poem in print!  Fingers crossed it does well over Valentine's Day!

Aaaaaannddd... I totally lied about spreading some Christmas cheer this week with a baking post.  There's no time for that, I'm afraid!  I do, however, have some fun posts lined up for the new year, so stay tuned!

The Return of our Unwanted House Guests

Well, it seems as though the masked bandits have returned.  Yep, you remember those bandits that woke us up in the middle of the night, in fear that a burglar was on our roof?  Well, if you want to get technical, it was actually Chris who woke me up in what I assumed was a drug-induced trance.  But that's just if you want to get technical.  Moving on.

{ slightly dramatic?  probably, but this photo makes me laugh, and no, I didn't take it. Obviously. }

Late last week, around dinner time, I was in the kitchen and I swear it sounded like someone was walking around on our back deck.  I yelled to Chris and he dropped what he was doing to come out and listen for himself. Again, we heard distinct footsteps.

So what is my brilliant idea?  Turn on the back porch light and open the blinds so we can see the culprit! Luckily Chris had the common sense to stop me and suggest we go look from our upstairs window, with the burglar being none the wiser, of course.  The result?  Nothing out there, and since we had snow the past few days, it was clear that no one had been there, as there were no footprints in the snow.

{ side note - please tell me we are not the only ones that jump to the conclusion that we are being burgled every time we hear something outside our house?! }

Hm... strange.  Well, upon returning back downstairs, we heard it again, very clearly, followed by scratching/scraping on the side of the house.  Creepy!  We figured out that it was something under the deck (strange, as it is an enclosed deck).  Those darn critters had found an entry point somehow and were likely seeking the warmth of our house/basement.

This happened around dusk every evening for 2-3 nights, so we had to think of a solution.

We decided to take some advice we received, and put a camping lantern under the deck.  The only bad part was that Chris had to unscrew the panels from the side of the deck in order to get it under there.  All the while, I watched from the warmth of our house, fingers crossed that the raccoons wouldn't attack him!

Not to worry, though, he took his trusty baseball bat with him.  See it sitting on the railing up there?  Well, I really wish I had been recording his mission, because as he was unscrewing the panels from the deck, the bat fell onto the ground, and scared him so bad he nearly jumped in the window!  I was laughing uncontrollably by this point, which Chris did not find amusing.

Anyhow, he managed to get the light under there, and it seems to have done the trick.  No more scratching around under the deck.  I wonder where they will pop up next...

What Happens When I Get Bored

A few days ago, with Chris still knee-deep with work, I wasn't in the mood to watch TV, clean or read.  But I also didn't have the luxury of doing something fun with Chris.  So I began wandering the house, trying to find some sort of inspiration.  I stumbled upon the leftover Christmas lights, and the rest is history, as they say.

I grabbed a long string of multi-colored lights, and thought... 'maybe I could wrap these around the stair railing... that might be fun.'  

It was innocent enough, but then one thing led to another, and pretty soon our entire front room was twinkling with Christmas festivity.

The lesson here?  Hide the remaining Christmas lights from me if you don't want me to find a home for them.  A home where they can shine.

And to be honest, I am feeling the Christmas spirit a bit more now that we have lights up inside!

Oh, and I also found some leftover felt in my office that I turned into this...

I haven't been able to spread quite as much Christmas cheer on my blog as I had hoped, as I have been quite busy.  But I promise to share some Christmas baking fun early next week.

We are finally "warming up" here in Colorado after a week of negative temperatures, and it is very much appreciated after several slow drives in to work on slippery, icy roads.  Hope it isn't too cold wherever you are!  

Our Thanksgiving - 2013

Well, it was a really truly enjoyable Thanksgiving.  Chris and I went to Washington last weekend, so we got to spend the four day-long weekend at home.  A surprisingly enjoyable one at that!

We made a mad dash for the grocery store on Wednesday night to get ingredients for a tasty vegetarian dinner on Thursday.  Our creation turned out quite nicely.

Of course, it wouldn't be Thanksgiving if we didn't have pumpkin pie...

We decided to go for a Thanksgiving walk before dinner, and really enjoyed the fresh air.  I have been struggling with a pretty frustrating knee injury, so hikes were out of the question.  But the walk was just right.

Friday we busted out the Christmas cheer and did our very first holiday decorating since we bought our house.  Turns out Christmas decorations are quite expensive, but we plan on adding more next year!  Apologies in advance if my blog takes a detour down candy cane lane this next month.  I LOVE holiday cheer, and all things festive!

The final result of our decorating efforts.

Saturday we returned to the land of adulthood and did some much needed cleaning, scrubbing and laundry around the house.  In the process, we began brainstorming DIY ideas for our little breakfast nook in the kitchen.  Here is what it looks like currently.

And this is what we think we would like to do with it.  Our hope is that it will add to the charm as well as seating!

We rewarded ourselves with an afternoon walk at a beautiful park, offering breath-taking views of the mountains.

{ I was using this photo to play with the aperture, but I was pleasantly surprised with how it turned out! }

Saturday night, we were feeling quite lazy but decided to force ourselves to get out for a little date night.  We ended up in a really cozy little pub for a dinner of shared appetizers, followed by live music at a nearby bar. The band?  Ah-mazing!  They were doing all sorts of 80s, 90s and 00s covers.  And were amazingly talented.  We had a really great night.

With one more day, we decided to make the most of our Sunday together.  I went shopping for the family we adopted for the holidays in the morning, before we headed up to the mountains.  Lucky us, we found an incredible meadow for a lovely walk.

{ side note: Chris lost his glove on our Thursday walk, and was convinced that it would still be on the side of the road where we parked for that walk.  I was skeptical, but was pleasantly surprised when it was still there 3 days later!  We had a good laugh about that. }

Overall, it was such a great relaxing weekend.  It has been a while since I felt fully 'recharged,' but I am glad that the feeling came by Sunday afternoon.  I went back to work yesterday with a definite spring in my step. Now if only I could kick this knee injury before this weekend - we are expecting snow this week and girlfriend needs some cross country skiing in her life.  

Hope all you Yanks enjoyed your Thanksgiving just as much as we did.  Now only three weeks until Christmas! 

Weekend Explorers

 Is it weird that I still feel really pumped from our weekend?  Blame it on the mountain air, or some good exercise with friends, but either way, I'll take it!  

After spending a spontaneous Friday night at happy hour, enjoying great conversation with my bestie, we decided to get up Saturday morning and do a fun, new hike.  After some online research, we decided on the Beaver Brook trail in Genesee Park.  It took us about 20-25 minutes to get to, but it literally felt like we were in the middle of nowhere!  Miles from home.  It offered some beautiful scenery on our descent into the valley, and a serious (for me!) workout on the return uphill.  

On our water break, we decided to do a little impromptu family photo sesh.  Don't mind us, we just needed to make sure we got every combination of our group as we could.  And no, we weren't delirious, this was before the climb back up.

This photo gives just a little taste of the uphill trail on our return.  It also gives me away, that I was in the back the whole time! Ha! 

Don't let the beauty of the scenery fool you -- it was COLD and WINDY!  Luckily, we were moving, so we stayed pretty warm... especially on the uphill return!

After our morning hike, we found a cute little organic, family-owned cafe and bakery tucked away in a cute mountain town.  We were very pleasantly surprised at the quality of both the food and the service, and will most definitely be returning with out-of-town visitors in tow.

We then went our separate ways with our friends, and, being spontaneous, Chris and I continued our drive through the cute little mountain towns.  As we came down out of the mountains, we decided to go to the super cheap movie theater in Littleton (we weren't far away at that point!) to watch the movie Prisoners.  It was our first time at the theater, and we were very excited to find that the tickets were only $2.50!  And for a fairly new movie as well!  And even better, we have one of these theaters just down the road from our house. Score!

After the movie, we made it home and had a much-needed relaxing evening indoors.

But we didn't relax for long...  Sunday morning, we decided to set off East to explore the plains a bit.  We always seem to head to the mountains (understandably so!), but were curious what the flatter part of our new state had to offer. Turns out?  Not much!  Just lots and lots of tumbleweeds (I felt right at home!).  Don't believe me?  See for yourself!

{ pit stop. }

We finished off our Sunday with a brisk walk around the lake at dusk.  All in all?  A really great weekend with the hubs and friends!

Now we are looking forward to two long weekends in a row!  Bring on the adventures!