Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Nativity Scene Roundup

Now that I have my own house to decorate for Christmas, I'm realizing that there were some very specific holiday items in my childhood that my brain used to signify that it was indeed Christmastime. Try as I might, the gorgeous gold ornaments of Adam's childhood just don't get me as excited as some of the chintzy decorations my mom has cast off and let me steal over the last few years. One thing I haven't been allowed to steal is her Precious Moments nativity figurines, and rightfully so, I suppose, because in my memories it was a Very Big Deal to get them all out, arrange them carefully, and restrain myself from playing with them throughout December. (Those little lambs! Oh, they are still so cute to me that it hurts my heart a little.)

So I realized last week that I am missing a nativity scene, and I thought maybe I'd go with something a little more modern than an updated version of the Precious Moments set of my childhood. The truth is, I can't actually afford some of these, but they're so pretty I thought I'd round them all up here to get my fix.


1. A di Alessi Nativity and related figurines at Panik Design - This site has a handful of different Nativity-related figurines by this designer, so you can mix and match your own scene. I love the bright colors!

2. Alexander Girard Nativity at Fab.com - Another colorful choice, I love the stylized look of this set as well as its sturdiness.

3. Set of 10 Christmas ornaments by Marcello Jori for Alessi at Unica Home - I love the idea of changing it up a little and displaying these on their own mini tree.

4. Cherry Wood Nativity Set at Etsy.com - I like the idea of taking this traditional concept and minimalizing it for a modern look. (Is minimalizing a word? Spell-check is telling me no, but I think you know what I mean.) It's also available in different types of wood.

5. Handmade felt Nativity and stable at Wisteria.com - I'm a sucker for anything handmade at the holidays, and this set is no exception.

6. Holy Land Olive-Wood Nativity Set at National Geographic - Another minimalist design, but with a bit more detail. I feel like this would look good in nearly every mountain cabin I've visited in Colorado.

7. Fisher-Price Little People Nativity Set at Kids R Us - Finally, here's one to play with. I think my grandma had this one for my younger cousins when I was growing up. It's a bit friendlier for children than the porcelain one I wasn't supposed to touch (and therefore wanted to all the more). Plus, I have always found Little People toys to be charming.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Whole Decade

I've been writing here for ten years today. Ten years! I earned two degrees, bought a car, moved across the country, had a handful of jobs, and got married in those years, so I guess you could say I grew up. (Sidenote: I'm very, very grateful that it was the ten years in my twenties and not in my teens, because I cringe when I think of leaving any digital evidence of my crazy teenage brain. If my AIM buddy list profile still exists somewhere, that's probably more than enough.) That's pretty overwhelming to think about.

I went to the Wayback Machine at the Internet Archive and while I couldn't find a preserved version of my blog as it was when I started it, the version from February 2006 warms my heart because not only did I create the title banner myself, at that time I was also painstakingly coding the HTML page design by myself.

I guess that's all I have to say. Maybe I should have put a little more thought into commemorating this milestone, but eh. This blog and I have never really had that kind of relationship. Here's to another ten years, if I can remember a password that long.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Marathon Month

October has been a whirlwind for Adam and me, so I'm glad we're finally heading into November. We had something scheduled to take over every single weekend this month, all fun things but not necessarily small things.

First was our one-year anniversary, which we celebrated quite modestly with brunch and an afternoon at Denver's Oktoberfest. We were pleasantly surprised to find that our year-old wedding cake was actually pretty tasty.


The next weekend, Adam went to Ohio for his cousin's wedding and I stayed home to gear up for the rest of the month. Our house was sparkling clean, and Adam had a great time eating Skyline Chili and celebrating with his family.

The next Friday, my sister and her boyfriend Daniel flew in for a long weekend. We toured New Belgium brewery, visited Garden of the Gods, and hiked around Red Rocks Amphitheater, plus a whole bunch of other fun stuff.

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 Oh, and Adam ran a half marathon that Sunday. There was a 5k race too, so Mary and I ran it just for fun, since we had already planned to go watch Adam. It was good because it ended up being freezing cold that day, so it helped us stay warm while we waited for Adam to cross the finish line. I'm so proud of him!

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Last weekend it was my turn to visit Ohio for my cousin's wedding, so I left the day after dropping Erin and Daniel off at the airport. I had a good visit home, and the wedding was so much fun. In fact, despite the fact that I had to get up at 4am to catch my flight back to Colorado the next morning, I stayed up until 1:30 spending time with my cousins and siblings.

My flight was so early because my weekend wasn't over yet! I came home from the airport, cleaned myself up, and drove to Christina's bridal shower to take care of my matron of honor duties. It was a lot of fun, and I'm pleased to say that I won first prize in the "how well do you know Christina and Justin" quiz. (Which, it would have been pretty embarrassing if I hadn't, right?) I drank about ten cups of coffee to stay awake, then drove back home to have dinner with my in-laws, who were in town for the Notre Dame-Air Force football game. Then I passed out about 15 minutes after we said goodbye, because I could barely stand up any longer.

So I'm looking forward to November, which will hopefully be a little quieter. I'll slip in this bit of boring (but big) news here: I was laid off in mid-September, so despite having a lot of extra time on my hands this month, I spent a lot of it trying to figure out what to do next. I'm confident that I'll be moving on to something even better, but it's this in-between space that is tricky to navigate. So long, October! It was fun but I'm going to go tweak my resume and take a nap.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Guess which one of us lives with an animal that causes us to sneeze.

Me, opening the last box of Kleenex from the linen cupboard: ADAM. We have to go get more Kleenex, like, TOMORROW!

 Adam: We opened three new boxes in the last week! Relax.

Me: I'm still very, very concerned.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Foam Fest

I've run a lot of 5ks this year, and as I mentioned I'm planning on running a 10k with Mary in December. But when a group of my friends decided to run the Foam Fest 5k obstacle course last weekend, I had no interest. Zero. Nope, nope, nope. Running is bad enough, and then you want me to get dirty and wet while I do it? NO THANK YOU.

I was feeling like a party pooper in the days leading up to the race, like maybe I was being silly and missing out on something that would end up being a lot of fun. I tagged along the day of the race, and everyone looked so excited. Plus, you got a medal just for finishing! And a pretty nice t-shirt! But still, my gut instinct was telling me that I'd made the right choice, even though everyone looked so happy:

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Then, the race started. And people started crossing the finish line. And it was DISGUSTING.

I learned that at one point in the race you had to completely submerge yourself in a pond to avoid electrocution. You had to climb through foam so thick and deep that you most likely ended up breathing it in and/or EATING it. Yuck. I may have been gagging at one point.

Here's what Adam and Mary looked like at the finish line. Poor Mary had something in her eye (dirt? foam? some kind of GROSS POND MUCK!?)

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Remember how Adam's shirt was white at the beginning? Yeah. Nearly a week later, I'm still congratulating myself for not signing up for this race. (Sidenote: Despite my terrible attitude, everyone had fun and I'm glad.)

Also, here is a funny video of Adam at the final obstacle. I was so excited to tape just one of the obstacles (they were all spread so far from each other, it was hard to get to them), but it turns out Adam wanted to wait for everyone else. You can see them show up (and high-five!) at the end.


IMG_2076 a video by LorenAnn03 on Flickr.
(psst, if the video isn't working, you can see it here.)

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Friday, August 30, 2013

30/31: Bookbar


Mary and I went to this combination wine bar/bookstore for dinner! It was the perfect place.