Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Rainy day in San Diego

We arrived in San Diego late Monday night.
Yesterday the weather was about 65 and sunny. Likely the best weather we will have while here.
We met our friends Stephan, Gaby and their daughter Annabelle for brunch. We had a delicious meal and then went for a walk on the beach. After that we found a little place to sit outside and drink some coffee.
After that Curt and I visited PB Shore Club for a beer and appetizer. Then I took a nap. We headed out for dinner and football.
Eventually I came back to the room for some veg time and watched The Kids are All Right. That was a pretty good movie.
Today is cool, rainy and windy. But we already knew the weather was going to be like that. I found a mani/pedi place close by and I may head there for some pampering. Plus all my nails look atrocious. They need some help.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Food, fun, family ... sun, sand, beer

Right now Curt and I are sitting at the Tucson airport waiting for a delayed flight to San Diego. After visiting family we have a few days planned in San Diego, and we will get there eventually.
We had a good visit. It seems the longer I am gone from Tucson the more I miss it.
On Christmas Day when leaving my mom's house my aunt asked me when we would be back in Tucson. My answer to that is always, when are you coming to visit me? But I really don't know when I will be back.
Sunday Curt and I headed to the Arizona Inn to meet up with any family members who were willing to meet us. Both my grandparents were kinda ehhh to the idea. But my mom, Fred and my brother joined us for warm sun and good eats.
After brunch Curt and Fred headed back to the house for football. My mom and I headed to
Grandpa's and then off to Alison's to meet baby Ashley, newest member of the family. We had a nice visit. I was so happy that I could help Grandpa meet his great-granddaughter. That made me feel good. Ashley was a little fussy. But was still a sweetheart and pretty good for not even a 3-week-old. She has so much hair!
After our visit we dropped Grandpa off at home. He was planning to head to the bar and show off his Christmas gift from Curt and me: Willie McCovey autographed baseball.
I had to get my strawberry eegee. That is a must when I come home.
Eventually Curt and I headed back to my dad's for some relax time. Dad and Hilda headed to a movie. I took a nap. Then Curt and I heated up yummy leftovers for dinner: tamales, rice, beans, carne and tortillas. When Dad and Hilda got home we sat around and chatted for about two hours.
This morning some more lounging and packing. Dad, Curt and I headed to lunch on 4th Ave. Eventually we headed out to my mom's.
My mom had posole and menudo for us. Oh, so yummy. We had fun hanging out, eating, drinking beer and telling some HILARIOUS stories. Man, I was crying and almost spit out my beer.
Then we got dropped off at the airport ... where we still are. Our flight is delayed to San Diego. But Curt is content watching Monday Night Football while we drink beer and munch on quesadilla.
We are going to spend a few days in San Diego just relaxing and enjoying our week off from work.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! To find out more about the pic above click here.
We flew to Tucson last night. Got in about 5. My dad picked us up at the airport and took us to my Mom's to fetch her car. We headed to my Great Aunt Alice's and Uncle Eddie's for an amazing Mexican feast. My mom and Fred arrived shortly after we did. We ate, drank and had a good time. Then we played White Elephant. I almost had that bottle of sparkling wine!
Today we had a leisurely morning and then headed to Mom's for lunch. Got to see most of the immediate family. Good food, lots of laughs and as always, crazy conversation.
About 4 we headed to my grandpa's to pick him up and take him to my dad's for dinner. Three of the six grand-children were in attendance. We had a nice (second) feast and just hung out for a bit.
Eventually we headed out and took my grandpa home. After the drop off, Curt and I headed to The Buffet for a drink or two. We spent less than 20 bucks the whole night and tipped really well. How can you not love The Buffet?
Now we are home and I am tired. Hanging out with family almost nonstop is exhausting, but I still love it.
Hope everyone had a nice Christmas.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays from us to you

Hope everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday season.

~Ann, Curt & Joey (meow!)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas came early in our house

This past weekend was pretty nice.
Ended the workweek with a great yoga class. Then home for some Ann and Joey time before Curt came home from a day-trip to Tahoe.
Saturday the usual two hours at the gym, then some errands, and then home for coffee and waffles. Curt ran some errands and then we headed to McNally's to visit John and give him his Christmas gift of some tamales.
Saturday evening was low-key. Just what I needed: some movie watching and knitting and lounging.
Sunday I headed to my regular Vinyasa Yoga class. That class is so tough and intense. My shirt was absolutely soaked.
Curt, Joey and I had our Christmas celebration early since Curt and I are heading to Tucson for the actual holiday.
We had shrimp, cracked crab, cous cous, green beans, etc. Delicious. Afterward we unstuffed our stockings. Curt got me an armband for my iPhone for when I workout, Snuggle Socks and an REI gift card to buy some bike shorts. I got Curt Tully's gift card, Rick Steve's new DVDs and the Barcelona guidebook for our trip next year and a remote control helicopter, which he is having a good time playing with. And Joey either loves it or is freaked out by it. Joey got a nutcracker catnip toy, green glittery mouse and green glittery ball with feathers.
Check out pics of our early Christmas celebration.

Friday, December 17, 2010

December birthday: Curse or blessing?

The Chronicle had a little story online about December babies.
Today is my mom's birthday.
As an adult she has enjoyed having a birthday so close to Christmas. We had traditions--like decorating the Christmas tree on Mom's birthday after dinner. As an adult I have carried on my aunt's tradition of giving my mom ornaments as birthday gifts.
I think as a kid having a birthday so close to Christmas wasn't so great. That whole here's your birthday AND Christmas present is total BS.
I have many friends and a few family members who have birthdays in December. When we were all still exchanging birthday and Christmas presents I made sure December babies
got a birthday present separate from Christmas and wrapped in birthday paper.
This year Curt and I took my mom (and Fred) to Paris to celebrate Mom's birthday. We thought since London was so close we would visit for a few days, too. Ed and Marilyn (Curt's parents) met us in Paris to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary. After Paris we headed to Amsterdam. One item on Marilyn's bucket list was to visit Keukenhof gardens and she got to do it!
Happy birthday, Mama!
(Photos are of us on the Eiffel Tower. I was so happy to take my mom there that I got all emotional. Once I was over that I was ready for a picture. Then she wanted to show her appreciation with a kiss on the cheek.)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Like mother, like daughter

If you know my mom, you know that she knows how and loves to throw parties. I got part of that gene. If you know my mom, you know that she has a huge heart and is a major advocate for helping others and volunteering at various charities. I like to think I got part of that gene, too,
I am a little selfish with my free time as I don't have much. So instead of time, I give monetarily. (Is that even a word?) I also love hosting various activities at work and personally.
During this holiday season at work I am in charge of the food drive in November, toy drive in December and Kris Kringle gift exchange also in December.
Today we had our Kris Kringle gift exchange revealing party. This time I had a lot of people thank me for organizing and said our little party was a lot of fun. I was so happy everyone had fun and were so appreciative. It made me feel really good.
We had a company meeting today and I helped pass around the mike for people who had questions. When there were no more questions I raised my hand and told our CEO I didn't have a question but since I had the mike I was going to remind people about our toy drive. I am going on a toy shopping spree tomorrow and was still taking monetary donations for that. I also reminded them that the toys will be picked up Monday if they want to do their own shopping. I am excited that I have a lot money to buy toys for children who aren't as lucky as so many of us are.
I wanted to add another pic of my prize winning cocktail (above). I was sipping that Tuesday night as I was catching up on episodes of Parenthood and knitting my scarf for my Kris Kringle pick.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Busy, fun, hardly had a moment to sit down weekend

Friday night I ended my week with yoga and then a few errands. I got home and started on some chores. Curt eventually came home and picked us up dinner.
Saturday had my regular two hours at the gym, an errand or two and then I started doing some stuff that needed to get done around the house, I prepared my cocktail for the upcoming Cocktail Competition Party at Monica and Malcolm's, started getting ready for our guests the following day and squeezed in a little knitting time (working on a scarf for my Kris Kringle at work).
For the cocktail party I made Hungry Girl's Winter Wonderland Peppermintini (pic above). I really worked the angle that it was only 125 calories and quite festive for the holidays. I even had drink tags (pic on the left). As my friend Joe watched me prepare, You EVEN have drink tags for your glasses. Uh, yea,
I plan to WIN. And win is just what I did. Oh yea! First place. There were 14 different cocktails and beer bread (made by a pregnant lady). I probably tasted at least 10 different cocktails and, of course, the beer bread. It was a fun time.
Sunday morning I woke up with a headache and kinda tired (hmmm, I wonder why?). I got myself to the grocery, skipped yoga (ended up being a good choice) and came back home to prepare for the 5th annual Cheesemas.
We had friends over to eat cheese or cheese-like items and watch cheesy holiday movies.
We always start with Creature Comforts Christmas show. You have to click on that link--it's a clip of the show. Then we move onto The Christmas Shoes, which is tradition. If you want to watch the whole thing on YouTube, click here. You probably don't want to watch the whole thing. And you may have already seen it on Lifetime.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Knitting, knots and Charlie Brown

Today after work I went to my day spa for a massage from the amazing Thanh.
Before my massage I headed to Walgreens in the hopes of finding the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. And I found it.
I love it. It's so awesome!!! (Awwww, I killed it.)
After making my purchases at the drugstore I headed to the day spa for my massage. Of course, it was wonderful--as always.
And the best part was it was way cheaper today. Apparently Monday through Thursday the price drops dramatically. I need to start going in the evenings during the week more often.
I asked Thanh if she feels like my knots are "getting better." She said yes. Must be the regular visits. Wish I could afford to go once a week. I told her I wanted to charge my massages to work since work is the reason for the stress, tight shoulders and neck knots.
Curt and I are gearing up to watch the hour-long Office Christmas special. Yippee! I also need to get knitting on a scarf for the Kris Kringle name I picked for the drawing at work.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

The best thing about not giving out Christmas gifts ...

is that you don't have to go Christmas shopping. (Not that I really did before anyway. And if I did, it was before Thanksgiving. And after online shopping became the norm, that's how I shopped.)
We are focusing on charities this year for Christmas. It feels good ... like how it should be. Most people in our lives are pretty OK and/or lucky and have what they need. And there are so many people out there so much worse off than we are. There are children who are hungry, cold, don't have a place to live, don't have toys or books. That makes me very sad.
There are many things good about Christmas. But I think a lot of greed happens around this time of year, too. And that is just ugly.
OK, I'm done.

This was a good and relaxing weekend. Got a lot of stuff I needed to get done around the house. We got our tree (pictured to the left) and decorated. Our lights are up outside. Our few decorations are around the house.
Curt didn't like the tree topper we had before. I told him he could get a new one. He did. He picked out a gaudy angel that changes colors and is fiber optic. I think it was probably the only one he found at Home Depot that lights up.
I watched the latest Twilight movie, Eclipse, last night. It was pretty good. And Jacob did have his shirt off a lot, which was actually kinda funny.
Now I am doing laundry, catching up on shows and waiting for our sushi to be delivered.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Holiday Mail for Heroes

Want to do something to help a troop or two or three or a dozen? Send some holiday cards now! Buy some extras or send some leftovers. They will all be appreciated. Holiday cards for our heroes can be postmarked up to Dec. 10, 2010. Read more about it right here.
I think most of my readers know that I knit and I like to give to charities. And if I can mix the two together even better. Between myself, Marilyn, Penny and Alicia we knitted 43 hats to be sent to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Handmade hats from home are a great way to support our troops no matter what your political views are.
Check out our hats that should be making their way to the troops now:

And an added bonus for you:
Cool, huh? Along with candy we also gave out glow in the dark bracelets. And they were a huge hit. We had around 90-100 trick or treaters on Halloween. We let the kids pick candy out of the bucket. At some point we were letting them grab three pieces each and a bracelet. One kid got their goodies and yelled down to the 'rents that they got THREE PIECES OF CANDY AND A GLOW IN THE DARK BRACELET. Yea, I will be buying those cheap bracelets from Michaels again. :)