Its Here!

15 more Hours!

15 more hours till I am in beautiful Colorado, with my beautiful family.  I don't know if I'll be able to sleep because I'm too excited, although we have to leave at 5am so I hope I get some sleep.  Besides having a sore throat I am prepared and ready!
Tickets printed- Check
3 alarm clocks set- Check
Clothes packed- Check

Christmas Spirit- Double Check



Beautiful Bocelli

How I love Andrea Bocelli.  Since junior high his cds have always been playing in our house.  He has such an amazing voice.  So I was very excited when I just saw a commercial for a concert he is doing in South Florida!

He is coming to the Bank Atlantic Center which is 10 minutes from my house!  Tickets are a little pricy, but I think I will save up and buy them.  His concert is on Valentine's day which I think would be a lovely way to spend the evening with Bobby.  

One of my favorites

Can't Wait!

Is there a Santa Clause?

One of my favorite Christmas readings, the famous 1897 letter from Virginia.  Enjoy!

Dear Editor,
I am eight years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says "If you see it in the Sun it's so." Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O'Hanlon.
115 W.95th St

VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank GOD! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.



This truly is a magical time of year.  Even though I am not little anymore and don't believe in Santa, I still have this wonderful feeling of warmth and excitement around my heart near Christmas.  I love everything about it.  The story of the birth of Jesus, snow, sparkly lights, the mystery of Santa, family, friends, warmth, good food, presents, Christmas songs, silent nights.

All of it makes up Christmas.  I watched an interesting documentary the other day on the history of Christmas.  A celebration during the winter started long before Jesus was born, a way for people to get through the dark, cold months.  Soon it encompassed the nativity and then became a holiday for gift giving and children and families.  So when people say that no one celebrates the true meaning of Christmas anymore, we actually do.  It is what we make it.  If we want it to be about family, and trees, and candlelight services, and caroling then that is what Christmas is all about. 

What a great idea.  To have all these wonderful wintry things all wrapped up into one Season.  The gift of God, sparkly wrapping paper, playing Parcheesi under the Christmas tree, scents of apple cider, and the north pole.  That is what Christmas means to me.

our little tree



The other night at work, Bobby passed an office window and saw this glorious thing:

Leg Lamp

It is my most favorite scene in a Christmas Story when the dad opens up his special award, a giant woman's leg:

Mr. Parker: Uh, 'frah-gee-lay!' It must be Italian!
Mrs. Parker: Oh, I think that says 'fragile,' honey.

Every time I see the word FRAGILE I can't help but say it the Italian way.  What a perfect thing to see right before Christmas.  I think I'll go netflix that movie.



Ghost Tour and Water Taxis

The other night the Stranahan House in downtown Fort Lauderdale hosted our museum for an evening of wine, ghost tours, and a water taxi ride.  It was such a fun time and the staff at the house museum were very generous and kind.

 Stranahan House on the River

The water taxi ride took us through downtown Ft. Lauderdale where we listened to the history of the river and of course the ghosts that haunt the shore line.  We got to see all of the billion dollar mansions that line the river and their gigantic yachts decorated with Christmas lights.

 The captain of the boat

The tour of the Stranahan House was great.  The house was built in 1901 and is full of history.  One of the staff took us through each room and explained the different stories of the house, along with people's personal ghost experiences.  Oooohhhh!

I was the only one who brought a camera so I was given the task to take as many pictures as possible through the tour to see if I could capture something.  To my luck, no creepy faces of children or unexplained orbs appeared in my pictures!

It was a great way to spend a Sunday evening and get out and enjoy the city.

 pretty tree

 My friend Jessica and I

 Bobby enjoying the view


It's FREEZING here!  My poor thin Florida skin is barely surviving in this cold front.  We have been having temperatures in the 20s and 30s in the mornings, a 50 degree difference from a few days ago.  Everyone at work is bundled up to their eyeballs.  The heat in my car is on full blast.  I have extra blankets on the bed and am wearing socks for the first time since last Christmas.  

As I opened the front door this morning to leave for work, the cold air hit my lungs and I started shivering.  But, deep down I was so happy that it finally felt like winter and it smelled a little like Colorado.  So far I haven't seen any comatose iguanas falling out of the trees but its supposed to be another chilly night so we'll see come morning.  

I must admit that I'm a little embarrassed by my new sensitivity to the cold.

Daddy, do you think you could turn the heat up past 68 degrees when I come home?  And maybe we could turn the fireplace on too?  The goosebumps on my arms would greatly appreciate it.


Scenes from Kickball

A few more photos from Friday Fun Day!

Jingle Kickball

Today was our office's Jingle Kickball Party.  I also got to help put up the Christmas tree which is right outside my office door and I can smell the beautiful sent of pine and it makes me too excited about my trip home that I can barely concentrate!

The Kickball teams were Museum vs. THPO.  The Museum dominated most of the game, but THPO pulled through at the end and we didn't end up losing by too many points.  I was part of the "cheerleading" section and got to sit in the warm sun and watch the game.
The playing field behind the parking lot.

Teams scored extra points for Christmas Spirit

Waiting for the first kick...


The Cheerleaders...kind of

A nice way to end a Friday at work.

Christmas Party

Wednesday was our office Christmas Party.  It was held outside under the Royal Palm Trees and Chickees.  As I sat across from my friend Jessica, eating fry bread and laughing with my co-workers I realized I was smiling for the first time in weeks.  Work has been stressful and I paused and looked around at all the amazing people I work with and thought about what an incredible and truly unique job I have.  

As jingle bells drifted through the swaying palms and the sun glittered through the palmetto I felt content.  Life is good, even with bumps, and potholes, and an occasional fender bender.

We ended the party with a game of White Elephant/Pink Flamingo (get it?) The theme was "As Seen On TV".  Lets just say there were some pretty ridiculous gifts, including the Gopher, the Snuggie, and the Booty Pop (a push up bra for your bee-hind!).  My favorite was a collectible ceramic head of Tom Selleck, Magnum P.I.   

YOURS! for ONLY 5 easy payments of $19.95! 



Two nights a week Bobby goes down and runs live music in Miami, Here.  He is pretty cool.  Miami is only for the awesome people in Florida.  It's not your typical scene of Cadillacs and golf courses. There is culture, art, and music.  Amazing.  Actually what's amazing is that I have not been brave enough to venture down to South Beach.  I'm actually pretty intimidated by all the glam and fashionistas.  Bobby invited me to come visit him at work next weekend so I think I'm going to brave it up and go see what all the fuss is about. 

On Bobby's way to work- Miami


Dance Party

Everyone I know is stressed out.  Must be the holidays and everyone is clearly in need of a break.  Work for me has been particularly stressful and last night I came home and crashed.  I started going through my iTunes and found my favorite songs.  I sat at Bobby's desk in the dark, with his cool earphones that remove all outside sound and listened to the music.

Before I knew it I was having a mini dance party.  All alone, with just the music.  I am the worst dancer in the world but who doesn't love dancing, especially when nobody is watching?

My best friend Caitlin, Jess and I would have dance parties in junior high.  Jess had a black light bulb and we would screw it into her night stand light and turn off all the lights and then practice our dance moves to Backstreet Boys.   Practice makes perfect for those junior high dances!  We would have the best time, laughing and making up new moves.  But the best thing about dance parties is that everything else in your world disappears and pretty soon its just you and the music.  

In my head I am the best dancer in the world.  Or sometimes I am the lead singer in the band.  Either way I am awesome and stress free.  


Wheat Thins Crisis

I've been feeling extra homesick this past week.  It will be 6 months since I last saw Jess and my Dad.  I feel a little sad and have tended to overreact at the drop of a hat.  I think I know the best medicine, but unfortunately I have to wait a few more weeks for some of those famous Redente hugs.  Yesterday morning was the perfect example of my not so perfect behavior:

5:50 Over slept
5:51 Jump out of bed and trip over my shoes and slam my toe
5:52 Realize I don't have time to wash my hair
5:53 Get ready
6:05 Eat Breakfast
6:12 Pack Lunch
6:14 Realize Wheat Thins are missing from the cupboard
6:15 Search for Wheat Thins, because without them I cannot eat my laughing cow cheese
6:20 Run upstairs and wake up Bobby
        Me-  Have you seen my Wheat Thins!?
        Bobby- mghaghghg
        Me- Do you know where they are?
        Bobby- they're gone
        Me- What do you mean they are GONE?
        Bobby- I ate them
        Me- How am I supposed to EAT MY LUNCH!?
6:25 Realize I'm 5 minutes late, run to the door
6:26 Realize my car keys are missing
6:27 Run around like a maniac looking for keys
6:28 Empty purse twice
6:35 Make Bobby wake up again to drive me to carpool
6:38 Find out I left my lunch on the counter
6:39 Have a good cry in the car
6:50 Get dropped off at carpool
6:51 Reach my hand into my purse and feel my keys in the inside pocket

Needless to say Bobby and I had a good laugh about it at the dinner table.  Only 20 days till I am home sweet home.


Mr. Elephant

The Elephant in the Room

Oh how true this expression is.  Ever been there?  Where you can literally see the giant, gray  beast squished into the room?  

I am in that room now.  Trying to ignore the large wrinkles, flapping ears and curious trunk.  Ignoring him never makes him to go away.

I'm trying to push with all my might to get him out the door, but that 2,000 pounds just won't budge.

Maybe I'll just have to embrace him as my new pet.



It snowed last night
It snowed last night
The snow bears had a pillow fight
They tore up all the clouds in sight
And threw them down as snowflakes light
 Wishing this is what my backyard really looked like this morning

My mom used to say this poem to us when we were little.  She would only say it on mornings when it had snowed.  We would open our little eyes to the bright white outside, so excited about the glittery snow.  

Dear Colorado,
I will be home for Christmas and would like nothing more than a cold, fluffy, white gift.  I will be satisfied with 1-2 inches and would prefer extra sparkle.  A Christmas Eve snow would be ideal, but as long as there is a white blanket on the ground come Christmas morning, I will be very happy.
Thank you,


Chicken Day

We had a nice Thanksgiving.  Pretty quiet, but nice.  I watched the Macy's Day Parade, cooked, watched White Christmas, and cooked some more!

 Pumpkin Pie cooking

Preparing Dinner

Substitution for Green Bean Casserole

Cooking is hard work, so you should be as comfortable as possible.

Our Chicken

The carver

Chicken, cranberries, stuffing, green beans, sweat potatoes and rolls. 

Not every thing turned out as planned.  I've never made sweat potatoes before and my new low fat recipe called for Greek yogurt.  I guess I should have been more careful about measuring it out because they tasted more like yogurt than potatoes.  The green bean and mushroom dish was pretty good, but maybe next year I will just make the original.  I mean, isn't that the wonderful thing about holidays?  The traditions and the food.  Eating cream of mushroom soup 1 day a year never hurt anyone. 
At the end of the day we got to skype with my family back home and said hello to everyone, including our family cat.  It was a great way to end the day!


Thanksgiving Preparations

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving!

What a wonderful Holiday!  I love to imagine the first Thanksgiving, in a chilly New England village.  Giving thanks for a new life and new beginnings.  Its a time to spend with those we love.

Bobby and I have spent the last 4 Thanksgivings together.  The first two he came down to Texas to visit me at grad school.  Last year was our first Thanksgiving without the cold and snowy temperatures.  This year will be much the same, enjoying a peaceful and quiet time together.  

A skype session is in order with my family back in Colorado.  I'll get to see my mom and dad, sisters and brother-in-laws and my auntie!  Hopefully my cat Pepper will make an appearance too.  

I will spend the morning watching the Macy's Day parade, relaxing, and then starting on our Thanksgiving meal.

Bobby and I have a lot to be Thankful for this year!  What are you Thankful for?

Birthday Celebration

Yesterday was my 26th Birthday!  It was a pretty low key day, seeing I did my celebrating this past weekend. The usual paperwork and cataloging.  I did wear my gold flower shoes for my birthday.

a little prehistoric pottery for a Tuesday afternoon

My friend Carrie had me over for dinner last night (Bobby sadly had to work) for homemade chicken pot pie and cupcakes.  It was nice to spend the evening with friends.  Her new puppy entertained us for most of the evening and finally got tuckered out after playing with his very loud squeaky toy for over an hour...

 Pictures taken with my new camera..thanks mom and daddy!

Another Birthday spent away from Jessica, but we will celebrate over Christmas.  I have always felt like the luckiest person in the world to be able to share my life with my twin sister-- Birthdays and all!


Birthday Weekend

It's finally the weekend!  My Birthday is officially 3 days away but I am celebrating early.  Bobby sadly has to work on Tuesday night and I of course am working all day so my birthday celebrations are this weekend.  Jess is here in spirit and we will celebrate together over Christmas!

My weekend Birthday plans include:

1.  Lunch with my friend Jessica.  She let me pick any place and I chose Subway.  I know, I know, but I love their bread! 

2.  Pedicures! Jessica took me to get my second pedicure ever!  The first one was with her in Lubbock after our Comps.  My toes look lovely in their new fall color.

3.  Watching Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince tonight so we can be fully prepared to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows tomorrow.

4.  Tomorrow is the movie and then dinner with some friends at an Italian restaurant.

My sister and I are turning 26.  We were Thanksgiving babies, well the day after Thanksgiving babies! I told my mom today I still feel like I'm 18.  I wonder when you actually feel your age.  Hopefully I will feel 18 even when I'm 97.

Here's to a fun weekend and being with friends!



TGIF.  That's all I have to say.  I will be glad when tomorrow if over with. 


Snake Boots

Today I got the best present at work.  Snake Boots! I am official.  I will look awesome in the field.  If I get attacked by a snake I will survive.  

My new boots


Morning Shadow

Its light again in the morning when I wait for carpool.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays we meet at one of my co-workers apartments.  The place we wait at is also where all the kids from the apartment complex wait to be picked up from the school bus.  I should take a cue from these kids.  They are laughing and playing tag at 7:00am.  They are so excited to be awake and with their friends, waiting to go to school. 

As I climb into the carpool car, I tend to see a lot of little eyes staring back at me, wondering where I'm going so early in the morning.  Its kind of like a look into their future.  School bus to Carpool.




The Boardwalk in the Winter is beautiful.  The air is cooler and the cypress trees are losing their leaves letting the blue sky shine through the empty branches.  The Ibis birds are back hanging out at their pond, slowly walking through the shallow water with their long orange beaks. 


I'm in Love

I'm in love.  I'm in love with Robert Macuen.  He is my best friend.  Today we went for a stroll in the sun and I got to hold his hand and we talked about where we want to take our Christmas card  picture.  When we got home I was feeling kind of sad.  This time of year is always hard for me to be away from my family, especially seeing my Birthday is just around the corner and it will be another one spent away from Jessica.  As I felt sorry for myself, he let me lay down on his lap, non-showered and all, and he scratched my back till I was ok again.   

Denver, 2009


killer bees and baby spiders

Apparently we have Africanized bees on the Reservation.  My boss scared the ba-gee-bers out of everyone today showing us two dead killer bees in a zip lock baggie that he had collected off of his car windshield wiper.  I'm embarrassed to say I had another spastic moment on the boardwalk when I thought I heard a swarm of angry bees flying towards me and I  "quickly" walked back to civilization. It may have been an airplane zooming by but you can never be too sure.

To make matters worse 1 billion baby spiders hatched today and they were floating through the air on their little silk webs.  I watched from the door as tiny threads blew across the parking lot in masses.  Ewww.  Bobby grabbed his backpack from the car the other day on his way to class and saw what he thought were ants crawling all over the backseat.  Nope.  They were baby spiders.

I think I'll stay inside for the next few days.


dark winter nights

It was strange to drive home from work in the dark tonight.  I am so used to having it be sunny and bright as I pull up to the house.  It felt like winter.  I was trying to explain to a native Floridian today that the true definition of winter = dark and cold.  I really started to think that when I got out of the carpool car is was going to be cold out just because it was dark.

Christmas lights are already twinkling in the palm trees and in the grocery store above the ground beef.  I love this time of year.  I secretly listened to Christmas music on my ipod on the way home today in carpool.

These dark nights remind me of when I was little and we would have to go to our piano lessons after school every Wednesday.  When winter came it would be dark half way through our lessons.  I remember feeling cozy and warm at my piano teachers house on these dark nights.  She always cooked soup on Wednesdays and her whole house would smell like chicken noodle.  I especially loved it when she put her Christmas tree up and as I waited for each of my sisters to finish with their lessons I would sit and stare at the pretty lights glowing from the tree.  I loved her tree because she used the giant Christmas lights and my homework would glow red and green and blue.