Sunday, October 31, 2010

this is how we do it.

halloween, that is.
welcome to year 6 of our halloween traditions.

this is how we celebrate:
... carve pumpkins.
... make riceballs.
... roast pumpkin seeds.
... eat obscene amounts of candy.
... oh, and embarrass poor henry.

step 1: watch charlie make riceballs.

a little background. charlie's italian and our first thanksgiving together we went to new york to celebrate with his family. the entire 5 hour trip up to ny he raved about these riceballs. and all i kept thinking was 'what the hell is a riceball'? turns out they are fried goodness. we make them on halloween and thanksgiving. why? just because.

how to make riceballs
you make these babies by hand.
rice, ground beef, egg + milk, and bread crumbs.
basically, make a meatball, form the rice around it. dip it in the egg mixture and then roll in breadcrumbs.
sounds healthy, right?

fry said riceballs.
i use canola oil instead of vegetable oil. i pretend this makes a huge difference.
told you they were healthy.

just pretend they're not fried
and the finished product.
oozing their fat onto some paper towels.

step 2: carve pumpkins.

the setup
the pumpkin carving set up.
the cut-up trash bag is a necessity.

punkin' carving
making progress ...

i finished mine first. toby was pretty curious.
actually, he's trying to eat the pumpkin. i'm not kidding.

aaaaand, they're officially jack 'o lanterns.
in case you can't tell the one on the left is supposed to be an owl on a tree branch and the one on the right is a cat.
i am an excellent carver so i blame the cutouts. :)

step 3: embarrass henry.

don't worry he got a treat for this.

step 4 and 5: roast pumpkin seeds and eat obscene amounts of candy.

i have no pictures of this because i was too busy stuffing my face with reese's pieces.

another successful halloween.
i love the fact that it doesn't involve bars, slutty costumes, or drunken people.
and i love that it's a holiday we get all to ourselves.
hope yours was a good one!

Saturday, October 30, 2010


"you want to know what living life to the fullest actually is? it is waking up on a monday morning with no complaints. it’s knowing you always deserve to laugh. it is doing what feels right no matter what. it is doing what you want to do, no matter how stupid you look. it is about being yourself, cause no one can tell you you’re doing it wrong."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

it's the little things ...

boys of fall

... the night after a ridiculously busy day. one you've been stressing about, planning for, and then you get home and realize it's over *sigh*.
... the glass of wine you have after a ridiculously busy day.
... garage organization. ugh, i sound just like my dad.
... moving things around the house = decorating for free.
... possible opportunities.
... turning the heat on for the first time this year.
... knowing i have a gift certificate to borders.
... friends within walking distance.
... being financially responsible.
... writing papers on the couch in front of the fire.
... halloween weekend!
... sleeping in on saturdays.
.. the fam. coming for christmas.
... my dogs, because it would get very lonely without them.
... when charlie works from home while i study and we "work" at the kitchen table together.
... planning thanksgiving dinner. already.
... ski season is officially here. i suppose i should get my skis and pass now.
... mountains covered in snow.
... my parents sending me pictures of the fence they're building. almost makes me feel like i'm at home.
... video chat.
... paycheck friday. or thursday in my case.
... christmas music. um, yes, it started.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

dear jeep,

it's time that we had a talk.
i realize i've bashed on you a bit in the past and while some of our problems weren't always your fault (like how we drove you up a mountain too big for you) others were (like how you hated 5th gear). but here's the thing, i feel like we've come to an understanding. we promise to take you only on bumpy and snowy roads and in return you promise to not kill us on the highway. i think your new transmission and clutch might have something to do with this. either way, over the past year, i've started to love you again. you've taken us to telluride, gear and all, numerous hiking trips packed with 5 people and 2 dogs, and no matter how dirty you get you always clean up pretty good.

but jeep, charlie and i now own you, all of you. so i'm going to need you to last at least 10 more years. i know that sounds like a lot, but just remember all of your cousins that had 250,000+ miles before they kicked the bucket.
just think of all the adventures you'll have. i can promise you some good times my friend.
all i'm saying is, please last forever. and please be cheap about it.

love, your fam.

Monday, October 25, 2010

i was busy this weekend studying and studying and studying.
grad school makes for some pretty fun people, no?

we've had the most beautiful fall around here, with warm temps and no snow yet. i'm more than happy to have an october with no snow.
in other news, there's something about fall that makes me want to clean like crazy and rearrange everything in our house. i guess after a summer of being outside all the time and not really caring what the house looks like.
we've been trying to organize our garage, which hasn't been completely successful yet.
i want to hang up our bikes and our skiis and apparently i bought the wrong hooks when i went to home depot (although in my defense they're called bicycle hooks).

my parents also called last night to tell us that they're coming for christmas.
we were contemplating going home this year, but i just don't have enough time off work to swing a trip. i'm glad they're coming out although i'm sure i'll be jealous when i head off to work every day and they head to the mountains.

and because i hate posts without pictures, here's a few pictures of what fall has looked like around here.


Fall pup


Thursday, October 21, 2010

waiting for superman.

this weekend waiting for superman came to colorado.
being the education nerd i am, we went to see it.

we don't have kids and whenever we start to talk about it, i always come back to "where would we send them to school?"
growing up i always figured i'd send my kids to public school. no questions asked. but after being in education and after learning more about the education system, i think you have to ask the questions before shipping kids off to the local school.

both charlie and i are products of public school. although, we're also products of parents who brought us up emphasizing the importance of school.

the movie was definitely and interesting one.
they threw a lot of facts and numbers out. i'm assuming to get people's attention.
and it worked ... there were definitely collective gasps from the audience when stats like the percentage of students who passed state examinations (ranging from the teens to about 40% in the "good" states") came up.
and of course, there was a very compelling graph showing the dollars spent on each student per year since the 1970s. let's just say there was not a positive correlation between the amount of money spent and the number of kids graduating high school.

as a teacher, i think they tried to make the issue simpler than it really is.
after watching the movie my impression was that they wanted to make 2 conclusions:
1. the public schools suck because teachers suck and as a result of tenure we cannot get rid of these sucky teachers.
2. the answer is charter schools. invest money in schools that don't have the same rules applied to them as the rest of the public schools.

now obviously, this is me oversimplifying the movie and charlie (who watched it with me) didn't see it the same way.

either way, whatever your opinion of the movie was, there's no denying that our public schools are in some serious trouble. and there's no denying that in a lot of areas, parents are forced to send their kids to schools they would never pick, if given the choice.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


go for long walks. indulge in hot baths. question your assumptions. be kind to yourself. live for the moment. loosen up. scream. curse the world. count your blessings. just let go. just be.
- unknown.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

my life lately ...

pretty much my life

lots and lots of tea.
and lots and lots of reading.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

it's the little things, right?

like successful high altitude baking.

before we moved to colorado i used to bake all the time.
i mean i was no martha, but i made things, from scratch, and they were good!

then i moved and denver taunted me.

but last weekend, for the first time since moving out to colorado, i baked something from scratch and instead of ending in tears (because, yes, it had gotten that bad), it was successful!

meet mr. pumpkin cake.
he was delicious.

pumpkin cake

and now we don't have to relocate back to sea level.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

you know your house is dirty when ...

you can write love notes to your husband in the dust that's accumulated on the stove.
(probably also a sign you don't use the stove enough)

you know your house is dirty when ...

please use this as an opportunity to feel better about your house cleaning abilities.
clearly mine need work.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

it's the little things ...

pretty sure this was a wednesday night

... wine season is back.
... cool(er) fall days.
... leaves changing.
... pumpkin cake.
... apple pie.
... soup in the crock pot.
... hot toddies.
... the semester being half over.
... the mall on a thursday night. much less crowded than it would be on a saturday morning.
... successful baking at 5280+ feet.
... my research paper outline getting approved w/o any changes.
... popcorn and a movie on a friday night.
... candy corn.
... laundry day.
... cornfields.
... pumpkin patches.

Friday, October 8, 2010



not mine. my parents'.

i didn't grow up in this house but every time i'm back it feels like home.
probably due to the combination of amazing food, good wine, fires in the fireplace ('cause back east we can have real fires), good company, and now a pup.
i mean really, there's nothing that makes a place feel more like home than a dog.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

i bet you didn't know that ...


... i am obsessed with doing laundry. there may not always be home cooked meals in my house, the shower might not get scrubbed every week (or two), we may run out of milk and bananas every now and then, but dammit, we will always have clean clothes.
... charlie and i watch couples retreat about every other month. and i realize that it's supposed to just be some funny movie. but for some reason it makes me love him just a little bit more.
... i love jeans, and boots, and scarves.
... i grew up thinking i wanted to be a career girl. now, well, not as much.
... the more classes i take the less i think i know about the world. however, i do love me some school. usually.
... the past few pottery barn catalogs have had some seriously over-the-top halloween decorations in them. i had no idea pottery barn sold things i could buy at party city.
... i like watching the broncos on sundays.
... i love the fact that we are renters for so many reasons. we don't have to mow the lawn, we can pick up at move anywhere at any time, i can entertain the idea of living in the mountains and the city simultaneously, when things break i don't have to fix them, but mostly it's the flexibility thing.
... i love to read. really, really love it.
... and i love books.
... although he can drive me crazy, i love my husband more than anyone else on the planet and i miss him like crazy when he travels.
... i've always wanted to be one of those families that has really weird traditions. one of those slightly nutty families that look a little crazy from the outside but secretly you wish you were a part of.
... i am a procrastinator at heart. as much as i try to fight it, it's still there.
... i have conflicting thoughts about many things such as kids, homes, cars, lifestyles, etc.
... i always go for a walk during the first snowstorm of the year.
... i watch when harry met sally and love actually every holiday season.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

i'm trying to get better at blogging and taking pictures.
i swear.
i do it for me, really, so that when i look back i can remember what the heck was going on in my life, as in, the every day stuff. i mean we all remember to bring the camera when we go on vacation or celebrate the holidays, but sometimes the regular stuff doesn't get quite the same attention. and although life has been busy lately, i don't want it to fly by too quickly.
especially since it's fall now. at least it's trying to be fall now.

last weekend charlie ran the boulder sunset triathlon.
it was 90 freaking degrees and it was his first race.
i was pretty proud of him.
awwh so excited.
here he is before the swim, super nervous.

i didn't get a lot of pictures and i will say that i should have brought the zoom lens.

in other news, i cut my hours back at work which has allowed me to have a bit of a life, be a good student, and occasionally grocery shop and vacuum the floor.
it's also given me enough time to actually walk the dogs again, which is good for my thighs, my sanity, and the dogs of course.

we also said goodbye to some of our friends this weekend. :(
they moved out to colorado around the same time we did but decided to move back to be closer to friends and family.
as much as i totally understand the friends and family part, we're going to miss them.

pumpkin beer
there was lots of pumpkin beer and jack daniel's involved in their sendoff.

i also bought henry a halloween costume.
he's a rabid squirrel.
he's not that crazy about dressing up as an animal he usually is in pursuit of.
(i realize this may throw me into the category of "crazy dog lady", however i still believe that "crazy dog lady" is better than "crazy cat lady")

why grandma, what big teeth you have!
for some reason this picture reminds me of the wolf in little red riding hood.
"my grandma, what big teeth you have".
except henry doesn't eat kids. i promise.