We flew to El Paso, TX for our Christmas holiday to spend time with family. It was nice to get some sunshine and some warm weather for a change! Unfortunately, all of us were sick for some portion of the Christmas vacation, but we are all finally feeling better and on the mend. Despite our under-the-weatherness, we were able to visit some of our favorite spots and do some of our favorite things while visiting – including eating some delicious Mexican food, a visit to Old Mesilla, Whooppee Bowl antique mall, and seeing some dear friends. Tomorrow, we head back to A2 – where the forecast calls for a high of 21 and snow. I haven’t had to wear my coat, hat, or gloves since we arrived in El Paso 10 days ago, but I’ll have them ready for when we land tomorrow. Happy New Year’s Eve eve!
We are lucky to have such wonderful neighbors…wonderful neighbors who also have a wonderful dog…a wonderful dog who Melody happens to love as much as she loves our wonderful neighbors. Emily and Joel were kind enough to dog-sit for us while we were away for the holidays and Melody got to spend some quality time with her favorite furry man, Stanley. I’m pretty sure it’s true love. I have to admit, I’m pretty sure she’s not going to want to come home when Stanley and Emily and Joel have been so great to her. Emily sent us some rather humorous photos (including these here, thanks Emily!) of the two of them snuggled up together – apparently Stanley’s backside makes for an excellent pillow to rest one’s head.
This is our friend’s (lovely Lisa of Pot & Box) dog Ko and, in case you can’t tell from the photo, he is awesome. Sadly, our handsome fella has cancer…the good news is that there is a treatment that can help save Ko. If you can give any amount to help save Ko and/or you’d like to hear more about Ko and Lisa, please visit this page here. Thank you.
Update: Happy New Year’s Eve eve news – the campaign for Ko is now fully funded!
We’ve had quite a bit of snow this weekend; it snowed all day Saturday and it has been snowing all morning today as well. Also, I couldn’t resist putting Melody in this red sweater and reindeer ears – we didn’t leave them on long as she looked so miserable in them, just long enough to get some ridiculous photos. Perhaps the fact that she’ll have some treats in her stocking by the fireplace will make up for this brief moment of humiliation? I like to think so. Melody wishes you a most delicious Christmas and a tasty New Year!
Last night, I enjoyed a most adorable advent play performance in which our friends’ daughter, Averie, played a lamb. The kids were so cute playing the part of angels, lambs, shepherds, Joseph and Mary, etc. I can remember doing the same, when I was a little girl; I even got the lead role of Mary one year, which was a really big deal for me and included a solo performance. Not only was it fun to watch the kids sing and act out the story, but it was also so much fun for me to sing along to such familiar Christmas carols – what a nice way to add some Christmas cheer to my holiday season!
We had some snowfall here yesterday and this is what we woke up to this morning… Beautiful, white, fresh-fallen snow – not much, but just enough to make everything gleam. So today, I put on my warm, green, turtleneck sweater and sipped my peppermint mocha latte while enjoying the view out the window. Hello winter.
We had a fun, busy, Christmasy weekend. We kicked off our weekend with some Midnight Madness fun in downtown Ann Arbor to finish up our Christmas shopping and we stopped into the Old German for a drink and to share their delicious, baked soft pretzels with spicy mustard and cheddar fondue. Downtown Home and Garden had a petting zoo for the weekend, complete with alpaca, goats, sheep, a donkey, and a zebu. The zebu had the best eyelashes! I wanted to get a good picture of the zebu, but it didn’t want to pose for me – oh well, you know how zebus can be. We hosted a holiday brunch at our home on Sunday and really enjoyed having everyone over and sharing such delicious food with friends; Ezra (who shares my love for strawberries – in fact, I’m pretty sure he loves them even more than I do) even showed me the proper way to patty-cake – thanks, Ezra! During our brunch, the snow started to fall outside (it really was perfect timing) and 3 different groups of friends at the brunch were heading directly from our place to pick out their Christmas trees.
Over the weekend, we did our annual it’s-Thanksgiving-weekend-let’s-decorate-the-house-for-Christmas flurry of activity; which included 1 tree, multiple strands of lights, many ornaments, 3 stockings, 2 strands of garland, 2 wreaths, 1 mistletoe ball, and various other holiday accoutrement. I will always feel like there’s something magical about sitting in a dark room enjoying the glow of Christmas tree lights…especially if there’s a warm fire nearby.
We had a very large bowl of leftover mashed potatoes and homemade cranberry sauce from our Thanksgiving (or, should I say, Thanksgivingukkah) feast and I like a little variety in my life so when I stumbled onto this recipe for Cheesy Leftover Mashed Potato Pancakes I smartly suggested to Ryan that it might be a great thing to try. What better way to celebrate the marriage of both Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, after all?
Instead of using scallions, we used shallots – because that’s what we had in the fridge. And instead of using sour cream to top them with, we used our leftover homemade cranberry sauce. It was delicious! In fact, to be honest, I actually liked the potatoes better in this form than I did in their original mashed potato form…shhh…don’t tell the mashed potatoes I said that.
I like to have “adventures”, which – for me – can be anything from driving to Ikea to brave the insanity that Ikea can be, to trying a new restaurant, or even taking a hike in the wooded area near our house…and that’s just what we did today. We had an adventure in our own backyard, so to speak. Frozen ponds, evergreens, various plant life, and Melody is an excellent tree stump model – she was really working it!