Sunday, December 23, 2012

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas Time is Here

It has been a long time since my last post.  That has become a common story this past year I suppose, but I have finally been inspired to post something!  Christmastime will do that to a person I guess!  It's not that nothing has happened in the last six months, I just couldn't bring myself to sit down to a post.

Well, excuses aside, we've been getting ramped up to celebrate Christmas this year!  One of my favorite things about Christmas is the warm and cozy feel lighting a lit up tree can bring to your home.  We've never had one before, but since we are going to be in Buffalo up until the 24th of December, I thought that this year would be the year!

I heard from a friend about a tree farm outside of Buffalo, so we checked it out and I LOVED IT as I the following pictures should contest to.

Once you get to a farm, you get a wagon ride out to the lot of trees.  Then, you get dumped off and are free to roam to your heart's content.

...Discovering trees
Taking a break from roaming for a photo op....
And here is Jake staking claim on our tree.
It's fallen! 

And here is the finished product. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Jake Had a Birthday and I Made a Cake

This past week, Jake had his 29th Birthday.  Now I won't be the only one in our house in the last year of their 20's.  Whew!  One sure way into Jake's heart is through food, so we splurged and celebrated with some filet mignon and carrot bake-both Jake's request.  I have to say, none of the fancy schmancy steak houses out here were any match for Jake's grilling skills!
Jake opening up a package in the mail from his parents-it's always fun to get stuff in the mail and remember that family isn't TOO far away!
Behold my cake decorating skills!
I'm sorry if you are grossed out by meat and are reading this, but it was truly amazing!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spring Break Part II: Warning: This is a Long Post

Now that Jake is in his third year of dental school (near the END of the third year...but who's counting?) we are beginning to realize that our days in Western NY are actually numbered, which also makes me begin to realize that I may not have the opportunity to see everything out East that I would like to before we move on once our term here has ended.  Fortunately, we were able to make it out to NYC again for a couple of days over Spring Break for a visit with Mandi and Cole.  Although our trip was short and our days there were numbered, we had such a great time and packed in just about everything we wanted to do!  Mandi and Cole were great hosts and showed us around some of their favorite spots in the city and even let us sleep on the floor of their little apartment and introduced us to some new games.  Thanks again for being such great time we meet, I will win Dominion!
Mandi and Cole took us to Mood the first night we got into town, so that I could spend the Mood GC they so generously gave me for my bday.
Oh the fabric options!  It was deliciously overwhelming...
The next morning Mandi and Cole took us to THE BEST bagel shop in the city before Cole had to take off for school for the rest of the day.
If you're wondering what those big mounds are behind the glass, it's LOADS of cream cheese, not some sort of marshmallow fluff Jellos concoction like the mound in front appears to be.  That's actually a disgusting mixture of ground up salmon and cream cheese.  I hear it's quite popular with locals.

After breakfast the rest of us made our way to the Guggenheim. 
The design of the building was beautiful.
Next up, an exploration of Central Park...
...Including a bike ride around the parameter of the park.  Of all of the things we did, I would say this was my favorite part of the trip.
Here are some attempts at some artistic shots.  Luckily we had beautiful weather and the buds on the trees were just beginning to come out!

The next day, we made our way out to Queens to visit 5 Points.  From what I remember from Mandi and Cole, this is a place where graffiti artists display their graffiti talents and stuff.
Next up, a casual walk along the pier at Coney Island
And finally, we enjoyed our last dinner at Serendipity, where I pretty much ordered an entire chicken (I don't know if you can tell from the pic) and we shared the Black Forest Sunday. I have decided that only Serendipity can make chocolate cake, ice-cream and fudge so good.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Butterfly Conservatory

So ever since I have been taking my online photography class, I have been trying to practice my camera skills as much as possible.  It took some convincing, but I got Jake to go with me to the Butterfly Conservatory in Niagara Falls on the first day of Spring break (what a sweet husband eh?), so we could take some pics together.  Here are some shots of my favorites.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Dining Room Chairs Makeover!

So, since Jake and I have been married we have been collecting colored glass dishes, which happen to be plentiful here in Buffalo.  This new hobby has been fun, but we didn't really have a way to display it all, so ever since we moved into our new place I was on the market for a dining room hutch.  Luckily we found the perfect one on Craig's list, but unluckily...or luckily, however you want to look at it, the seller wouldn't sell us just the hutch...we would have to purchase the entire dining room set: table and chairs, buffet, and hutch.  This felt a little excessive, but the price was right and we have since found ways to use the other items in my newly organized craft room!  Anyway, the chairs were a little ugly and ever since we have had them I have been thinking about how I wanted to redo them.  With the help of many people including my mom, Jen over at Love's List and Jake himself, we managed to complete three of the chairs so far...with the rest shortly to follow.  I love how they turned out!  It's been really fun to put our own mark on things.

Chairs Before
Chairs After

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


So, it's Midterms for Jake around here as evidence by the kind of food in our house as of late.  The other night Jake came home loaded up with these goodies... (Please ignore the dirty dishes in the sink).

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

My Thoughts Lately...

I don't normally write personal things on the blog other than the fun events that Jake and I attend in fear that my blog will bore people, but I've been missing putting some of my thoughts and feelings into writing...I used to do that a lot back in the angst days of high school when everything was so dramatic.  I think I stopped writing when I stopped wanting to be so dramatic, but life hasn't really stopped coming at me and things still affect me, so I think I'll get personal for a bit.

So, I lost my job in December.  In a way, I was looking forward to the time when that would happen, like I could feel a change coming in my life, so I almost expected it, but knowing how to move forward with my life has been difficult these last few weeks.  I have always felt a sense of financial responsibility, which has probably stemmed from paying for my own car insurance, car, clothes, college education, what-have-you ever since I've had those things that makes me feel that way, but finding the right fit in the world of working individuals hasn't always been an easy road for me.  So, I was hoping that maybe this time around it would be different.  Maybe, God would guide me down just the right path and I would find just the right fit and everything would be as it should be again.  But that hasn't happened and its been a bit frustrating.  Although I know that each of us is living our own lives and we each have our own journey, sometimes I look around me and I envy the people that know just what they want to do: be a dentist, a photographer, a sous chef.  Whatever it is, there are people out there in the world that are passionate about something and they are working towards a concrete goal, but I don't know if I am that way.

I started reading the book club selection for the month, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life by Donald Miller.   I haven't finished it yet, but some of the thoughts by Miller have hit home to me so far.  For example, if I can remember right, he says something about how we are each living our own stories.  There is a Master Writer out there that has a glorious story in mind for us, but sometimes we are resistant to God's story for us and we want to create our own stories, even though they may not be the best story.  I started to wonder if I am resisting God's story for me. Perhaps its just easier for people to keep doing what they've always been doing, but it seems like now might be the right time for me to set out on another keep  looking until I find the right story.  I may not be trekking down the path of a sous chef or a travel magazine editor, but hopefully I can find the right path that I have been looking for.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Look of Love

This year we had a great Valentine's Day here in good 'ol Buffalo.  Being single through much of my twenties, I've heard lots of complaints from undeserving men about how Valentine's Day is just a stupid holiday from the card companies to make more money.  Seriously...that kind of talk is like listening to nails on a chalkboard.  I tend to think of Valentine's Day as a welcome break to one of the dreariest months of the year as well as another welcome opportunity to let the ones you love know how much you love them and this year didn't disappoint.

This year, we started the festivities off early.  Jake had planned a surprise date for me on Friday night.  I am impressed that he followed through with the surprise up until we were in the car on the way there.  Normally, he tells me about surprises a little early...that's why I love him.  We started the night off by visiting one of our favorite wholesaler flower shops in downtown buffalo.  Jake let me pick out my choice of flowers and then we went next door to the Sea Bar for some sushi.  To top the night off we visited Dolci, another Buffalo favorite for some treats to enjoy while cuddling on the couch.  A perfect night!
The goods from the night

On the actual day of Valentine's Day, I surprised Jake with a romantic fondue dinner and just a quiet night at home.  Thanks Mary for the fondue pot!  We've already gotten a lot of use out of it.

And lastly, because I am still playing around with my new camera and practicing, here are some shots of the lovely V-Day decor this year.

I hope you all had as great of a Valentine's Day as we did!

Friday, January 27, 2012

This Winter in Buffalo

So, last winter was so so cruel here in Buffalo that Jake and I decided to go on our cruise over Christmas break.  By the time we got back I was bracing myself for the cruel and unusual punishment of a Buffalo winter to strike us, but luckily this year has surprised us and hasn't been nearly as cruel as winters past.  It's strange but sometimes I actually find myself yearning for it to snow.  That probably is because we happened to get some good snow over a long weekened and Jake and I took advantage of it by snowshoeing.  Buffalo may not have the mountains that Utah do, but there are some beautiful areas to explore.  These pictures are of a trip we took down to Allengany State Park about an hour and a half from Buffalo.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Merry Christmas From Miami

Jake and I know that there are only so many chances that we have in this life to enjoy a trip with just the two of us, so we decided to take advantage of that time by going on a cruise to the Bahamas for our anniversary and by spending Christmas in Miami.  I have to say that although I loved the warm weather and the sunny skies I found myself missing family and longing for home over the holidays.  Nothing quite tops visiting temple square to see the lights before Christmas in order for the Christmas feeling to settle in for me.  I guess I just can't help craving what I don't have at the moment sometimes. 

That being said, I think we managed to make the most of our trip.  How often can you say that you got a tan over Christmas by sitting on the beach??  We started out on our cruise and visited Key West, Nassau and Cococay before heading back to Miami for a couple of days before finally heading back home to Buffalo just in time for winter.  The "feels like 0 degrees" ain't no joke.  But enough lamenting, here are some highlights of our trip.

The Cruise: Aboard the ship, ready to take off!

The Cruise: Leaving Port Miami

The Cruise: Stop 1: Key West
To satisfy Jake's appreciation of Ernest Hemingway, we went on a tour of Hemingway's home in Key West.  Although I'm not a huge fan of the guy, the home was beautiful and I like learning about stuff and people, so I enjoyed it too.  A bonus is that we also got a pretty in-depth tour of the city of Key West and learned some interesting stories of some of the earlier inhabitants.  Although some of these stories are a little too gruesome to tell on the blog, I'll tell you about them sometime.

Eating some infamous key lime pie.  Jake chose the dipped in chocolate variety.

The Cruise: Stop 2: Nassau
Our second stop in the Bahamas was the island of Nassau.  As you can see we booked an excursion to snorkel.  My association with snorkeling involves snorkeling in Hanama Bay in Hawaii which entails taking a leisurely stroll from the beach into calm and protected water--whenever your ready, no rush.  This is naturally what I expected this time as well, so I wasn't sure why they were handing out our gear while we were still on our boat on the way to what I thought was a secluded beach.  It wasn't until the boat was anchored in the middle of a large body of water and we were told to jump that I realized that this snorkeling trip would be a little different.  Here I am trying to look happy about it.

And here I am after all was said and done...genuinely happy.

The Cruise: Stop 3: Cococay
Cococay is a privately owned island exclusive for Royal Carribean cruisers.  We spent the day doing some yoga out on the beach, laying out on the beach and walking around the island.  All in all a pretty relaxing day.  I don't really have any pictures, but just imagine white sandy beaches and crystal clear aqua water and you should get the idea ;-)

The rest of our trip we spent a couple of days in Miami to tour the city and explore the beaches.  Here are a few of our attempts at some "artistic" shots while we were there.  Gotta love the blue, sunny skies!
 It was a wonderful trip and I am so grateful that we had the opportunity to go and unwind and spend some time with each other after the craziness of December!  It was good to get away and have a break before another long semester!  I hope all of you enjoyed your Christmas as much as we did!