Holidays, 2016

Not including Thanksgiving.

We kicked off our holiday season with a brunch at our house. Everyone does cocktail parties, so why not switch it up and do a brunch, right?

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Desserts.

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Muffins and lunch stuff.

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Bacon and nog toast. Egg nog french toast – only way to consume egg nog. Trust me on this one.

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Drinks. Plus we had coffee.

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Brandon’s corner (that is, the stuff he made).

This kind of ended up being an epic disaster, with people RSVPing and then not showing up and … terrible. We’re never hosting anything again.

In our continued adulting quest, we finally gave in and got a membership to the Denver Botanic Gardens (partially because they have a reciprocity program as well!). With this membership, we got free tickets to both Blossoms of Lights (at the main York location) and to the Trail of Lights at the Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms. So, off we went to both.

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Blossoms of Light.

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Blossoms of Light.

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Blossoms of Light.

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Trail of Lights.

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Trail of Lights.

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Trail of Lights.

Brandon had to work, but I was able to make the traditional Christmas Eve dinner with my family.

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Trees and presents.

It went about as well as you’d expect holidays with the family to go. My brother put me down, parents mocked me, I hid, I found time to hang out with my niece and nephew, the usual.

I did fly out to Portland on Christmas Day to hang out with B, though, which was nice. The disaster that was getting back home (woo, non-rev travel …), was not.

But I did get to hang out in B’s “office” before he left for NYC on the 26th (well before the flight I was in theory going to take left).

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Pilot wife life.

Quiet New Year’s in bed, and I am happy the holidays are over.

Holidays 2014

I’m trying to keep current with this thing for once in my life!

This time of year has been strange ever since I started working (what is essentially) retail. Christmas comes in mid-November and it doesn’t leave until early January. That combined with the fact that I’m the “help” and am not actually a real person in many customers’ eyes … really makes me kind of hate this time of year.

Still doesn’t keep Christmas from coming. If the Grinch can’t steal Christmas, neither can I.

Being an adult doesn’t help either. I’ve heard over the years that Christmas is for kids, and the older I get, the more I start to realize that’s actually pretty true. I realized that even clearer at the family Christmas Eve celebration as my niece (at 16 months) is starting to kind of grasp how this stuff goes.

For the family 24th celebration, we had to bring dessert. I brought my thumbprint cookies, because duh, but I also needed to bring either cake or pie. We’re a bit sick of pie in Casa Dino, so I decided to research Christmas cakes. Not much came up (yes, fruitcake is obvious, but I was NOT making a damn fruitcake) except for a buche de noel, a traditional French log cake. I found a super simple version (one that didn’t require me to make sugar mushrooms) and it actually turned out pretty well:

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Time with family is, well, time with family. We were supposed to go to my parents’, but my mom broke her arm on the 23rd, so everything got shifted to my brother’s place. He and Nicole stepped up and did a great job.

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Brandon in his AWESOME dinosaur sweater.

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The table.

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Swinging Amelia in my arms.

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Caprese salad. Actually really good.

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The feast.

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Amelia walking with Uncle Brandon.

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First present she goes to was actually hers (from us).

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With her Santa gift. I don’t think she quite understood it.

Christmas morning was rushed with us; Brandon had to go back to work so we had a half hour together, just enough time to make him breakfast. As a result, our present opening got delayed until the 27th. Such is life with two people who work unconventional jobs …

Holidays 2013

This holiday season was a weird one – Brandon flew on Christmas and we had the hardest time ever getting into the holiday spirit. Decorations were up for … maybe three weeks? and we didn’t even bother with lights this year. That being said, we still had a bit of fun – mostly thanks to events Run Colorado, our running store, held.

Before Christmas, they held an ugly sweater party and a cookie swap party. I used Pinterest to create my fabulous sweater/outfit, but I lost by one measly vote to the eventual winner. Which is okay for two reasons:
1.) I voted for her; and
2.) Winner got two entries into the Ugly Sweater 5K, and I wasn’t really running at the time, so the entries would have been wasted on me anyway.
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Kristen, our winner. Fruit cake guarantees hideousness.

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Leanne, essentially third.

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Yours truly, T the Christmas Tree (complete with tree skirt … skirt)(and second place). Inspiration taken from here and here.

We also had a cookie swap party – we brought sugar cookies (Brandon made, I decorated) and two versions of my thumbprints – the regular, and a gluten free version. These have officially become our cookies – I’ll share the recipe soon.

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Thumbprints seen; decorated sugar cookies in background also ours.

Brandon missed out on my family’s annual Christmas Eve dinner, unfortunately, but I dragged the skirt back out and got to see my niece … who was kind of cranky that night.

 photo xmas_eve2_zpsb7a6ccf5.jpgWe got her into pj’s soon after that and she was a lot less cranky.

Brandon was gone because he was in Washington D.C. for work. He’s a sneaky one and worked it out with my manager to not work the 26th so I could see him on his long layover. It was awesome not only because I got to see him, but also because one of my old college roommates, Amy, lives just south of D.C. in Virginia and so she and her husband (who I hadn’t met yet) were able to drive up and join us for breakfast the 26th, which was awesome.

After breakfast, we went into the city to see the National Christmas tree.

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Brandon and the Minnesota tree.

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The actual National tree. We were underwhelmed. Maybe it’s better lit up?

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Colorado tree.

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Oh hey look, White House.

Once Brandon was home again a few days later, we did our actual Christmas in terms of opening presents and stuff.

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Presents.

We didn’t do anything really for New Year’s Eve this year except make dinner, but that morning we did go to Run CO’s annual NYE morning run … and got to play with the cutest bulldog puppy, Kona.

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SO CUTE.

Maybe next year we’ll be more excited for the holidays … but looking back at this, it doesn’t seem like it was so bad.