Thursday, December 30, 2010

Holiday Cheer, Family Love, and Joyful Friends are forever Memories...

Thanksgiving and Christmas are two of our favorite holidays. We get to take a break from work, see family, and have our annual friends Holiday party. There is nothing better than being surrounded with family and friends for the holidays enjoying each other's company, reminiscing about our past, and during all this making new memories we will all never forget. This year was no different… 
We started Thanksgiving with two big family dinners. Our first dinner was on Thursday where Jason and mother-in-law, Debbie cooked an awesome turkey dinner. We heard a dear friend of ours was the only person from his family in town, so of course we jumped on the opportunity to invite him to our house. By the end of the night, our first dinner included; Jason, Debbie, my Dad, Wendy, Tad, and me! We had a wonderful time, by the end of the night we had an unbelievable dinner, one less wine bottle, ok maybe two, and sore tummy muscles from laughing! A few days later, we went to my Father’s house for his turn on cooking dinner for everyone. This time, we had a bigger bunch; Dad, Wendy, Jason, myself, Erin, Mark, and my two adorable nephews – Benny and Calvin! We had a great time playing; laughing at the faces Calvin made in his sleep, and of course enjoyed visiting with family.

With Thanksgiving over, we head into the Christmas season head on! We start off with our Friends Holiday party the first weekend of December. It was fantastic. We had all our closest friends and their loved ones over to celebrate. Everyone brings something to drink and a side of munchies for everyone to enjoy. To kick off the celebration of presents we always do a white elephant gift exchange. This year was much mellower than they have been in the past, due to three sneaky people bringing gifts they really wanted. Can you guess who all went home with their gifts? I’ll secretly help you…Amy, Michelle, and Adam! ;p )

Next, I was able to get some time with my little Sister for a couple days. I left work early on the Monday before Christmas to drive down and get her. Then on Tuesday night we had a relaxing time with Dad and Wendy celebrating and opening gifts. Jason and I thought we did pretty well guessing on what she would want for Christmas…and you know what, we hit it head on! The best gift was a wedding album I made for her. I had agreed to make her a book if she came up before the holidays; unfortunately we both got busy with school and work and didn’t make the time. In turn, I secretly made the book for her. She loved it!!

Thursday came quick and our driving adventures started! We drove down to McCleary, WA to celebrate with one of Jason’s Grandmother’s home. There was a big turn out with his Grandmother Rosalie, his father Carl, his two Uncles, Kerry and Kevin, cousins Emma (6) and Chance (3 or 4…I think), and later in the evening Kerry’s girlfriend Tracey was able to join us. It was a blast, playing with the kids, visiting with family, and the long drive from our home to theirs. 

Friday, we made the long drive back to the Olympia area to celebrate with Grandma Bonnie and her side of Jason’s family. To celebrate, Aunt Cathy and Uncle Dave made a wonderful dinner for everyone to enjoy and welcomed all of us into their home. Jason and I showed up shortly after his father and were able to enjoy catching up with Dave, Cathy, Carl, and cousin Nicky. It was wonderful. A couple hours later, Grandma Bonnie, Aunt Ginger, and cousins, Annie, Tasha, Calieb, Tommy, Thomas, Penny, Alex, and Aiden all showed up. As you can count, we had one full house. Watching the three youngest, Calieb and the twins Alex and Aiden all play and run around was amazing. They all are growing up so fast. 

After dinner, Jason and I drove back to our house to get Momma Debbie and then headed over to my Dad’s house for our annual Crab feast!! Waiting for us there was a football team of people! We had Dad, Wendy, Aunt Stacy, Tim, Uncle Barry, Annie, Erin, Ben (almost 2), Baby Calvin (3 months), cousins Alex and Darcy, and the newlyweds Derek and Chrisie. Now include the three of us, Jason, Momma Debbie, and me! Everyone had finished eating by the time we got there, however we dug in and enjoyed every bite. Great dinner Dad!! We sat around chatting and then changed gears to open gifts. Poor Benny he was so tired and started to get grumpy…so the best way to fix it. Have Grandpa Mark grab the biggest present under the tree for him and start opening it. Oh my gosh – you have never seen the happiest little boy opening his awesome gifts from Santa and family. The little oohs and awws made it completely worth it.

Christmas day started off quiet, Momma Debbie, Jason and I all slowly rolled out of bed to get up and start making Christmas dinner. Dad, Wendy, Erin, Mark, Benny, Calvin and Tadders were all heading to our house to celebrate! To close out this very long post, we had a wonderful Holiday season and are super excited to see all our friends to bring in 2011. Here we come!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

My last Maverick Burger...

Last weekend Kirsten and I went up to my Mom's to help her close down her bar.  Mom & Dan moved out to Tonasket, WA a little over 16 years ago to buy a bar.  Then called Mavericks Tavern, they later renamed it to Mavericks Bar & Grill.  After 16 very successful years Mom decided to close it down so she could move closer to family! 

Kirsten and I got there late Wednesday night and had our last dinner.  Kirsten had a French Dip and I had my very last Maverick Burger.  For those of you that were able to come up always were introduced to the Mav Burger.  The thing was a beast, with two patties, two pieces of cheese and both bacon and ham.  It was truly the best burger I've ever had.  I cannot count how many times I've had it over the 16 years.  One of my other favs was the Philly, but that deserves it another post :-). 

Mavericks Bar & Grill was basically another home for me.  As mom worked countless hours there it was the one place I knew I could hang and visit.  I was also very lucky to only be 3 hours away when I was at CWU.  Many times I would bring friends up.  One time Dave and I went up there and drank my mom out of Peach Schnapps.  Another time Adam and I went up there and Adam was loving all the food.  But by the end of the weekend he was bar fooded out!  It is greasy but damn good.

This last time up was bitter sweet.  I'm extremely happy that my mom is moving closer to us, but on the other side I will not be able to go visit the bar or the beautiful view from her back yard.  It was one of the few places in my life I could go and truly relax (especially in the early years when they did not have a computer).

RIP Maverick Burger, 10.1.1994 to 9.30.2010. A beloved member of the family. You will be missed!

Monday, July 26, 2010

60 Miles in 3 days.....What did I get myself into?

Have you ever heard of the Susan G. Komen Walk for the Cure? I have been noodling over actually participating for the last five years or so....well this year I jumped in with both feet. Yahoo for the Seattle 2010 Walk!!! 

So with that most of you know, I have signed myself up for the Susan G. Komen, 60 miles in 3 days for the cure for Breast Cancer. Of course, I thought to myself, 60 miles in 3 days, no problem! Holy cow....we have been training like crazy ladies and we are now up to 24 miles in one weekend. Yes you read that correctly, one weekend... 24 miles!

Little people know, but you have to raise $2,300 just to do the walk! In addition to paying $90 to walk. Now this didn't make me blink an eye, as all the funds are going to help find a cure for breast cancer but didn't make me stop and think, "I will never raise that much money!" I am one lucky lady as I have raised over $2,300 and now am onto my new goal of $4,000!

You can read about our journey and about our incredible team Cure for the Coconuts. It is for a great cause I could not think of a better group of women to do this with.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Last day of golf at Heron Lakes Great Blue

On Wednesday Dad and I finished our 4 days of golfing.  The last course was the Great Blue course at Heron Lakes in Portland, OR.  This was a pretty wide open course with many many sand traps.  In the previous 3 days of golfing I only had about 3 sand shots.  That was nothing compared with today as on the 2nd hole it took me 3 shots to get out of the trap.  That happened again on the 17th (4 shots this time) as well.  Needless to say it wasn't the best round. 

Even with the bad round it was a great day as I got to golf one more time with my dad.  The 4 day vacation golfing is something I will always remember.  It was great getting to spend time with just dad where we could talk about everything from Mariner to politics.  Hopefully my dad can come up later in the summer so we can get a few more rounds in before the fall hits.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Golfing with Dad

Sunday I drove down to Oregon to visit my Dad for 4 days.  We planned to play 4 rounds of golf in 4 days at all different courses.  It is great to be down here golfing with my Dad.  It's not often I get down to Oregon now that Kirsten and I have the house and a couple of pets.  So I'm extremely happy to get a chance to hang with Dad for a couple days doing what we love to do, play golf.  There was about a 10 year break between now and when Dad and I used to play a lot of golf.  So getting out for 4 days is going to be great.  I say there is nothing better to do with you Dad that go out and some golf, have a few beers and enjoy the outdoors. 

Yesterday was Forest Hills with a couple of Dad's buddies (Zig & Nate).  It was a blast to see these two guys again.  I haven't seen them since I worked at IDT as intern back in 1997.   The course was pretty wide open so it allowed my to use my driver (without losing any balls).  Though I did have a pretty good power fade going on.  I also got a chance to use my new flop show which from about 20 yards out with a sand trap between me and the green got it to within 8 feet.

Today was Wildwood with a couple of older gentlemen (since it was just me and Dad, we got paired with another twosome).  The course was beautiful with it being on the side of the hill.  Pretty much every hole had a great view.  You were either tee'ing off from an elevated teebox or hitting up hill to a elevated green.  Overall it was a fun round, though I did 3 putt par on a 470 yard par 5.

After the round Dad and I drove up to Washington for an early dinner at Billygan's Roadhouse for a couple of porterhouses!  They were awesome.  This is also a place that gives you peanuts where you can throw the shells down on the floor.

After dinner we drove back into Oregon briefly on our way to Skamania Lodge where we are golfing tomorrow.  On the way there I snapped this picture from my phone of Multnomah Falls.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

New Site Design

I finally gave in and moved away from hosting my own blog.  I've been using blogger/blog spot for about a year on our JK Lewis Photography site and really liked it so I decided to move our family website over to blogger.  Luckily they now allow static pages which let's me bring over all my content I had on the old site so I didn't lose anything.  And now that I have a easier place to blog (my site was more manual) I hope to blog more!  Enjoy!