We started off the night planning to have dinner at the Olive Garden and then watching Avatar 3D in the IMAX theater. Well, Avatar was sold out and the Olive Garden had a ridiculously long wait! So we ended up having Mexican and seeing Sherlock Holmes.
I was surprised I liked this movie as much as I did! It has a nice blend of comedy, action, adventure, and mystery. Robery Downey Jr. does an excellent job playing Holmes. Very entertaining movie.
We started our commute to Missouri on Saturday at 11am. By 11:30am we were back at Jonathan's parents! His 4 wheel drive was not working on his truck. So we swapped his truck for his moms car and were on are way again. Can anything else go wrong on this trip??
We made it to my parents on Saturday afternoon. We counted 21 cars in ditches along the way. My family was sweet enough to leave most of the presents until I arrived so it would feel like Christmas. There was also left over Christmas dinner. We only stayed for a short time since it was still snowing.
After another scary commute we finally arrived home. Just in time too, Maya only had a few morsels of food remaining! We were also shocked by the amount of snow Kansas got! There was a drift so big we couldn't even get into the garage!
A couple weeks ago I had asked Jonathan if he wanted a snow blower for Christmas and he said no (if he only knew!). So he started the process with a shovel. Luckily we have a nice neighbor who helped Jon out with his snow blower.
So, that's our Christmas 2009 story. We are glad to be home and are enjoying one relaxing day before heading back to work.
Since the Interstate was closed we ended up staying in Nebraska longer than expected. I was bummed I didn't get to see my side of the family on Christmas but it was nice to visit with Jon's family. We had a great time opening stockings via flashlights and candle light on Christmas Eve (lost power from 9:30pm - 1:30am). We had fun on Christmas morning opening gifts and watching lots of DVD's. I also enjoyed Jonathan's mom's comfort food, Chicken pot pie and mashed potatoes with meat gravy. Kate's cookies with homemade icing were also a treat!
There was also LOTS of snow! I have never seen snow like this. We usually just get ice or light snow in Kansas City.
Jonathan and I opened presents on Christmas Eve morning before packing to travel to Nebraska to spend time with Jonathan's family. Maya even sat with us to see what all the fuss was about. She also enjoyed playing with Jonathan's mini remote control toy Mustang.
The afternoon ended up being pretty frightening. We faced almost every weather element as we traveled north to Nebraska. Rain, sleet, ice, snow, and lots of wind! We were glad when we finally arrived safe and sound.
I've added a few more decorations around the house. Enjoy!
Our first stockings as a married couple! Eventually I'd like to get our names embroidered on them. The shape of our mantle doesn't allow for traditional stocking holders so I assumed we'd never be able to have stockings. That is until I found stocking hooks!
Finally, I got the metal star backdrop and creche for my Nativity set! The creche is not the one sold by Demdaco (the makers of the Willow Tree Angel Line). I actually found it on E-bay! It's made from old barn wood and it goes very nicely with the willow tree set.
To conclude our anniversary weekend we thawed out our cake top that had been in the freezer for the last year. We had our florist make a flower topper incorporating flowers used in our wedding. It's just the cutest thing! So pretty I didn't want to cut into it. We even used our original toasting flutes and cake server.
We did all the traditional things, cut the cake together, fed each other, and had a toast.
The cake was delicious! Almost as good as the wedding day. No taste of freezer burn what so ever. The cake was just a teeny tiny bit dry but other that that it was fantastic. I had wrapped it in 2 layers of plastic wrap, then a layer of foil, and boxed it up before freezing. This method worked perfect!
"Football, UFC, and wedding cake ALL day....I don't know how it could get any better!" Jonathan Speth
We planned on staying at the historic Hotel Phillips for our anniversary.
Our plans ran into a little kink though. Upon check-in we were informed they were overbooked and were moving us to the Marriott next door. We got our money refunded, plus they picked up the tab for the Marriott. We were still upset though and spoke with the manager because I REALLY wanted to stay at the small romantic hotel not a huge "cookie cutter" convention center hotel. They agreed to give us a complimentary night stay for our anniversary next year. YAY!!
After that was smoothed out we were off to see "Wicked."
It is soo good! Even Jonathan liked it (keep in mind earlier that night he was upset to be missing the Nebraska game plus a UFC fight). The music, costumes, effects, everything was awesome. It was also so neat to see how they blended the musical with the original story of the "Wizard of Oz." It kind of gives the Wizard of Oz story a whole new spin!
The next morning we enjoyed a delicious breakfast (compliments of the Hotel Phillips!) before returning home. What wonderful anniversary memories.
Our first wedding anniversary is right around the corner (11/22). I knew Jonathan was getting me flowers for the top of our cake (the cake top that's been in the freezer for a year!). Well, I was surprised when this lovely arrangement was delivered to work today. :) The card said, "Happy Anniversary, The first of many." So sweet, I think I need to go have a good cry, lol.
Well the holiday season is upon us weather we want it to be or not! I've already seen Christmas trees and lights in my neighborhood and music is playing on the radio.
Chels and I got a jump start on our Christmas shopping. We shopped for about 10 hours this weekend! It feels great to have most of my shopping complete (and wrapped) and to know I'll be missing the craziness later!
I also hunted down my FAVORITE holiday treat. Snowman Poop! I find it every year at the local mall in a store called "The Gourmet Chef." It's white hot chocolate with a dark chocolate dipped spoon and marshmallows. This is the best hot chocolate I've ever had. I picked up 5 packs and will probably be back for more.
Speaking of hot chocolate I think I'm going to go make myself one now!
My mom and I celebrated our annual "So You Think You Can Dance Tour" last night! It was so fun, we look forward to it every year (this is our 3rd tour). It's so cool to see the dancers in person and the routines were exceptional! Our seats were awesome, close enough to see facial expressions. I almost burst into tears with excitement. "Nah Na Na NA...So you think you can DANCE DANce Dance dance!!!
I'm attempting to host a get-together each month for a year. Not only does it give me something to do and look forward to, but I'm hoping to get to see some of my friends more often who I might otherwise only see once a year.
In August I hosted a tea party and in September I had a movie night. This months party was an Autumn Splendor Lunch. Seven of my closest friends joined me. We enjoyed Vegetable Chicken Chowder, Salad, a Cheese Ball, Cranberry Apple Cider, and Fall Leaf Cookies. Not a lot of clean up since I only had 1 serving of soup left over! Everyone enjoyed and also left with a leaf candle party favor. Looking forward to next months party - SUSHI MAKING!
I was so into the party that I forgot to take picture of the guests once they arrived!
A special thanks to A Little Loveliness who gave me the inspiration and provided many of the delicious recipes!
Jonathan and I went to see Couples Retreat last night. As with all Vince Vaughn movies it was very silly and full of laughs. It didn't quite live up to my expectations though. I enjoyed Wedding Crashers and The Break Up more.
I spent the afternoon at the spa today and it was wonderful! I started with a spa lunch. Chicken salad on a bed of spinach with a side of fruit and a lemon poppy seed muffin. Oh the muffin was so good, I was eating up all the crumbs!
From there I enjoyed a 90 minute massage, a facial, and a sea salt body scrub. All were very relaxing.
Now I'm relaxed, have super soft skin, a baby face, and I smell so good! Oh I love the spa.
As I was telling Jonathan all about it I asked him if he was excited and he replied, "Oh I'm excited all right...especially since I didn't have to pay for it!" (See post below, I won the spa package)
After many many years of saying, "I really want to go there" I finally made it to Weston, MO.
Weston is a small historic town about an hour north of Olathe. It is so charming and home to many antique and home furnishing stores, gift shops, and restaurants.
We also visited two wineries in the area, The Riverwood and the Pirtle. Both offered tastings of their wines. I ended up getting two bottles. An apple wine made from johnny smith apples and a sweet red.
The girls and I also enjoyed a lovely lunch at The Vineyards Restaurant. It is adorable! Excellent prices and seriously the most amazing butternut squash soup I have ever eaten! In fact, it was one of the best things I've ever tasted in my entire life, and I like to eat!
Overall, the girls and I had a wonderful afternoon in Weston. I plan to go back soon because they also have a ski park and are always hosting festivals (Irish, Apple Orchard, etc.) So fun!
Maya's birthday is tomorrow, she's 1 year old! We adopted her 6 months ago and she is just so precious! I just love her to pieces. Normally I don't celebrate cat birthdays but I wanted to make this milestone special for her. So, I got her a bag of her favorite treats, a new toy, and a "busy body activity mat".
For the last 4 years my mom and I have been attending the "Speaking of Women's Health" conference. It's always a super fun day with lots of speakers, vendors, and freebies. Well this year I won one of the awesome giveaways they have. A SPA DAY!!!! A facial, 90 minute massage, body wrap, and lunch! I am beyond excited and can't wait!! This is a national conference. I highly recommend it if it's in your area!
I had such a fun weekend. Kate, Jemma, and Gina visited from Nebraska and we had a pretty packed weekend.
On Saturday we went to the Renaissance Festival. A "unique" crowd but still a fun time. Turkey legs, fire dancers, and knights on horseback were the highlights of our day.
Saturday night was movie night. All of us (minus Jonathan) sprawled out in the living room to watch Sex and the City. Great girl time.
Then, Sunday we ventured 30 minutes south to Louisburg for the CiderFest. Music, BBQ, delicious apple cider, vendor tents, hayrides, pumpkin patch, cider doughnuts, and corn maze equal a fantastic afternoon. We were even able to take a peek inside the Cider Barn to see how the apple cider was made.
Here is an aerial photo of the 10 acre corn maze. I was excited that we actually made it out in about 30 minutes!
I am beat! Spent the last 4 days doing an intense review for the final section of the CPA exam. Not sure what to think. It might be close. Now the wait begins. Probably 4-6 weeks until scores are released.
I'm looking forward to a couple days of nothing to re-coup! Then, I'm moving on to new and exciting goals. No more stressful ones!
Meet KJ. KJ is my younger sister, she's 22. Her name is Karen Jean, but since my moms name is also Karen we call her KJ for short. She's probably the biggest goofball of all of us 4 girls. Here she is jokingly acting proper during my tea party. Notice her pinkie sticking up? During the party she came and whispered, "When I get older I'm going to have tea parties too Rach!" So cute. We are pretty close. I'm not sure how we did this, but when I was 21 and she was 13 we convinced our parents to let us go to Orlando Florida for 2 weeks! They agreed and we had a blast, she's definitely the best travel partner. Anyway, thanks for being a BEST sister Kaje!
My birthday weekend continued with a trip to the movies. Jonathan's family was in town so Kate, Jemma, Donna, and I went and saw Julie and Julia. What a fantastic movie! This is the cutest movie I have seen in a long time. I am really considering buying myself a french cookbook too! I highly recommend this movie.
Afterward, we stopped for gelato! It was a beautiful day out and we were able to sit on the patio. Overall, a great evening!