Labor Day Weekend 2019 ♥

Can all weekends be three days, please?  I felt like I had enough time to do every thing I wanted, everything I needed, plus extra time leftover to semi-nap on our deck sofa, see a 3 hour movie and like every Telluride Film Fest-related tweet 😛

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Wow, Friday feels SO LONG AGO.  I’d really been wanting to see Where’d You Go, Bernadette since I just read (and loved) the book, but it felt like I kept putting it off, for reasons that are probably Rotten Tomato score-related but also because it kept showing at either 6 PM (so early!) or 9 PM (so late!).  Can’t a girl get a 7:45 PM movie??  Anyway, after Joey told me to stop acting like I’m too old to go to a 9 PM movie, I acquiesced.  Look, the book is obviously better and there were major changes made (especially toward the end) that I felt significantly lessened the impact of the plot, but I still liked it!  Joey and I laughed a lot over the really badly edited photos of younger Bernadette and her husband.  Was it supposed to look so bad and fake??

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Woke up Saturday and made us some banana bread buckwheat pancakes because, as Joey put it, “WE OWN EVERY FLOUR!” and buckwheat was one of them.  Turns out buckwheat not only looks like sand, but tastes like it?  No thank you!  Afterward, we hit the farmers’ market and two different grocery stores!!!  I was very proud of our stamina.  We were hosting a family BBQ on Sunday and weeks ago, when we planned the menu, I was elated over the prospect of buying fresh produce at the farmers’ market.  It was just as exciting as I thought it’d be 🙂

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We spent the rest of the day cleaning the house, which is not exciting, then cleaned ourselves up and headed out for dinner/Rockies, which was exciting (until the game sucked).  We’re nearing the end of Rockies season, so I’m running out of time to try all the Biker Jim’s dogs, eek!  Joey and I traded halves so I could knock out two — Elk Jalapeno Cheddar and Rattlesnake & Pheasant — and both were great.  I fear I’m going to get to the end of this experiment and tell you what you already know — Elk Jalapeno Cheddar with classic topping is the best.

It was a perfect night at Coors Field weather/sunset-wise, but woof, that game!  We left early to go grab ice cream at Smith + Canon, only to find they had sold out and closed early, noooo!  Luckily, Ice Cream Riot is just down the street and though not quite Smith + Canon level, still very very good!

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I remarked on Saturday that I couldn’t remember the last time we’d gone on a weekend run, so we woke up and did just that on Sunday.  My left quad is SO SORE and I have zero clue why, so we maybe walked a little, but “that’s what weekend runs are for” Joey says.  After cooling down for a bit and eating breakfast, we jumped right into BBQ prep.  Joey was outside cleaning up the front and back yard and I was in the kitchen whipping up potato salad and squash and corn salad, then prepping a tomato salad and burgers.  Go figure, I only got a picture of one of those dishes, but that tomato salad sure looks pretty!  Also, while I cooked, I had Titanic on and I’m never not blown away by that film!

This whole BBQ was supposed to function as a “Garage and Deck Christening,” thought up by Joey’s grandma, who wasn’t feeling well and ended up missing the whole thing, bummer!!!  But Joey, my parents, my sister, Wayne, Lori, Adam, Joey’s grandpa, Jory, Betsy, Lorenzo, and Ellie were all there and my heart was so full.  Lori got us the sweetest sign for our deck ♥  I asked my mom to bring a dessert, so naturally, she brought two.  I maybe loaded my plate with peach cobbler (MY FAVORITE!!!) and vanilla ice cream, plus almond cake with whipped cream and strawberries and my mom saw and said “I’m so proud of you!” HA!  Half the party went home around 8, but those that were left, watched A Goofy Movie on the deck and it was the best ending to the best day ♥

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How great it is to host a Sunday BBQ, then get a day of recovery afterward??  Amazing!  We slept in till 8 (when did 8 become sleeping in??), then took ourselves to Weathervane for giant coffees and breakfast on the teensy front patio.  We wrapped our heads around September — we leave for Italy in one month and I do not feel ready, but we’ll get there… I think! — then headed to my parents’ to pick up our pup, who was not invited to the BBQ and it was so good to have him back… and then to leave him at home while we headed to Golden.  A day off, with nothing to do, felt like the right time to visit a brewery and I’d heard good things about New Terrain.  It wasn’t so busy when we first got there, but when we left a couple hours later, it was PACKED.  My Golden Haze was so so good and I only had a headache for a day and half afterward!  (Why???)  Also, what a view!

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It was an actual 100° degrees outside, so we were looking for something cool and dark to do afterward and a movie sounded like just the ticket!  I can’t remember if I mentioned this, but we have the Alamo movie pass, so we pay a monthly fee and then we can see as many movies as we want!  The only thing A) we wanted to see and B) was showing at the right time happened to be Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, which yes, we’ve already seen but it was “free” and can I please endorse the concept of the re-watch?  You catch so much more on a second viewing.  We still really really loved it, but found extra lines to laugh at and maybe clutched each others’ arms when we saw Leo get out of the pool and head to the tool shed.  Also, shout out to Zoë Bell, whose brief but brilliant scene is just so good!

Back at home, we relaxed on the deck, walked the pup, ate BBQ leftovers (from now until forever), dreamt of not drinking beer or overeating and crashed into bed.  I loved every single second of this Labor Day Weekend and fear the post-holiday weekend blues that are sure to follow, but I wouldn’t trade the memories for anything.  I hope yours was just as good!

Christmas 2017

There are no words to describe Christmas 2017.  Except for, you know, all these words 🙂

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I talked to so many people about Christmas falling on a Monday and consensus was that it kind of rocked.  We got to have our normal Friday and Saturday before Christmas activities commenced on Sunday, which meant Friday night fettuccine & The Holiday.  Every year when we watch this movie and it gets to the part where Jack Black and Kate Winslet make “Christmas Eve Fettuccine” I’m struck with a strong feeling of jealousy.  I needa be eating a bowl full of creamy noodles too!  We tried out this Bon Appétit version that claims fettuccine should NEVER EVER be made with cream and it was good but I think I prefer the tried and true recipe of my childhood that absolutely uses heavy cream.

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Saturday started with Whole Grain Gingerbread Waffles, then a manicure for me.  I think this might be my favorite color I’ve ever gotten!  It’s called “Demi” and it’s lovely.  Also thankful for a moment of peaceful self indulgence because the rest of the day was sort of nuts.

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Back at home: Christmas Day prep!  Joey and I tag-teamed a giant bowl of Puppy Chow, I mixed a giant bowl of roll dough, we made a giant trip to the grocery store then broke for lunch of a giant salad for me and giant sandwich for him.  Do I sense a theme?

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With renewed energy, I set out to make Christmas morning cinnamon rolls, which rose like a dream.  I don’t know if you can fully tell from the photo just how tall they were but Joey and I found it really amusing.  We also wrapped all our presents and I wanted them to be all cute and classy looking so I ordered red wrapping paper and Baker’s Twine on Amazon last week.  I loved how they all looked under the tree!  By this point, we had finished watching Love Actually (our very last Christmas movie on the list!) and I felt like this had been a marathon day, so I was ready to pass out but Joey insisted on putting together a gingerbread house.  I saw the finished product the next morning and almost cried over how cute that gumdrop fence and candy snowman were!

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Christmas Go Time means keeping your wits about you by fully taking in the beauty of a quiet snowy morning and a little morning time Child’s Pose.  Please don’t ask how I took that photo though 🙂

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Lori fell sick on Christmas Eve Eve and wasn’t able to join us for our breakfast and movie tradition.  I was seriously so sad that our fearless Christmas Eve leader wasn’t with us 😦  We forged on without her and had breakfast at The Pig & the Sprout — we were seriously the only party there, just like last year! — walked around the Tattered Cover for a bit, then saw Lady Bird at the Sie.  Yes, I saw it again and I had forgotten just how many funny parts there are!  I think I appreciated it even more the second time around.

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We had a few hours between the movie and Christmas Eve dinner so we did a little bit of food prep — including a corn casserole that I seriously scaled back on in the cream cheese/shredded cheese/butter department — and picked up our turkey from a very crowded Union Station Whole Foods and hey, I even gave myself some introvert time, reading in our room before we left for the evening.

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What can I say about Christmas Eve except that the butterball soup was as delicious as ever, the gift exchange was interesting as ever — I brought a Bob Ross mug that paints itself when you add hot liquid — and there was an actual fluffy puppy in our midst.  I think there was a collective moment when we all thought “I want a puppy for Christmas!”  I particularly enjoyed when he walked around on the table between dinner and game time 🙂

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Look, I know I can be sort of a control freak/over-planner sometimes but obsessive plotting and list-making all paid off Christmas Day when our kitchen time felt easy and breezy and fun.  The sky-high cinnamon rolls were a hit and I was honestly so happy with how all the food turned out!  Last year we made way too much but we’re learning year by year and I think we nailed portions/amount of dishes this year.  Joey rocked the turkey, gravy and mashed potatoes and I think the rolls, corn casserole, sweet potato casserole, Brussels sprout salad and cranberry sauce all turned out great.  Spending the day in the kitchen with Joey, watching Steve iron napkins into Christmas trees and listening to Christmas Vacation in the background made my heart so happy ♥

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We all got to hang out and exchange gifts before Joey and I had to head out.  Made it to my parents’ and proceeded to open presents and cheers margaritas before dinner.  Mom made the best spread of beef tenderloin, stuffing (!!!), pureed parsnips and Brussels sprouts.  Felt so nice and cozy and relaxed and it was just the best way to end the best day.  I went to bed feeling positively smitten with life.  P.S. We missed you, Chad and Lori!

Unpictured: Gifts galore — including, but not limited to, a Kate Spade purse, a Vitamix, a “Grow Your Own Therapist” toy that I can’t stop laughing about, a Snitch fidget spinner, tickets to The King and I, beautiful bamboo kitchen utensils, an “I am freaking cold” sweatshirt and many other things that I feel so unworthy of.  All you gift givers are the absolute best.  I cannot thank you enough for spoiling me so!

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, remembered to put BOTH your contacts in the morning (I sure didn’t…) and are feeling ready to end this year on a good note 🙂