Weekend Things & Christmas 2019

Is it my completist nature that’s making me feel like the world will end if I don’t post Christmas week happenings before this last day of 2019 ends??  Whew, here we are!  Those four days off after Christmas were wonderful and relaxing but also left me feeling disoriented and constantly wondering what day it even was.  You too, right?

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What a weird one a Wednesday Christmas is!  Our company decided to work Christmas Eve, then take Christmas through the weekend off, but we still managed to get out of the office early.  I left around 1, went home and made stuffing and salad dressing, then a little bit later, Joey came home and made corn casserole and spatchcocked a turkey.  Christmas lunch prep: check!

We made a pit stop at my parents’, maybe did a family photo shoot, then left our pup and headed over to Joey’s aunt and uncles for a soup spread and gift exchange.  Also, the apple pie bars we made were a huge hit and I couldn’t have been happier about it!

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Christmas Day!  In lieu of cooking one giant turkey, we decided to cook two smaller ones this year and we even saw a recipe on The Kitchen that called for two, so we went with it.  We popped them in the oven, ate cinnamon rolls, whipped up a few other sides and it all went off without a hitch!  The turkeys were actually done way faster than we’d expected.  Joey’s grandpa told me we get better every year we cook Christmas lunch and that’s the only present I needed.  Still, we were spoiled by both families!  It was the happiest time opening presents at my parents’ and then I forced everyone to take a family photo, so I win the night ♥

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The day after Christmas felt like such a whirlwind so it’s fitting that this is the only photo I have.  We woke up later than usual and perhaps spent too long messing around with out new espresso machine, then bought tickets to an afternoon movie, THEN realized we both had errands to run before that movie, oops!  It was Wayne’s birthday, so he and my sister joined us for the movie.  Uncut Gems is also a whirlwind!  It’s intense and anxiety-inducing and I was floored by Adam Sandler!  The more I think about it, the more impressed I am.  Afterward, we headed to Teocalli in Lafayette for a happy hour birthday celebration and then I convinced everyone to come watch Joey bowl with me.  Can you believe none of them had ever seen him bowl before??

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Friday, Joey got up early and headed to the mountains to ski and I had INTROVERT TIME.  Much needed, to be honest!  I made espresso machine progress, read, took myself to the gym, made a new batch of granola and baked some slider buns (I like to have them ready to go in the freezer!) and when Joey was finally back home for the night, we had dinner and watched Two Popes… sort of.  I kept looking over to find Joey sleeping, so I eventually ordered us to bed.  Isn’t it nice when you have a bunch of days off to just us one to rest and get yourself back in order?  I think so!

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A Saturday snow day!  We made waffles, finished Two Popes (my take was that it was really interesting and I liked all those shots of the two popes in their stark-white or black outfits against whatever background they were in, but it wasn’t the most exciting thing I’ve ever watched), cleaned up our Christmas mess of a house, watched Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (hey, it was funny!) and fretted over whether we should still go to Zoo Lights at the Denver Zoo that night.  We decided to bundle up and go for it!  My brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew all came to our house to exchange presents and eat pizza before heading out.  I missed them all so much!  Zoo Lights was cold but fun and I’m so glad we got to go ♥

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We started our last day off at Weathervane and I seriously left my purse there and didn’t realize it until we were nearly home.  Do you think I’ll stop doing that in 2020??  Joey headed out to watch football and I finished the salads he’d started for us, read and went to yoga.  Back at home, we made this salad, which is mostly a vehicle for smoky salmon, goat cheese and puff pastry croutons.  I love it!  We also watched American Factory but my favorite part was watching the Obamas talk to the creators of the documentary afterward.  I love them so much!

I hope this post sounded less rushed than it felt to write it!  Please have a safe and happy end to your 2019 and I’ll see you again in 2020!

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!