Thursday, December 29, 2011
Later we made tons of snow crab for our dinner and it was fantastic. I also made a lemon risotto. A soup and salad were planned but turned into lunch the next day since the two courses were more than enough for dinner. It was quiet and low key and really nice, in its only little way, Christmas à deux.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Friday, December 16, 2011
We also got a lovely gift basket from Austin's brother and sister-in-law. Stinky was very concerned because for a few minutes, a box and basket were in his space. He circled the items several times and mewed disdainfully.
We plan on Skyping home during the gift opening and making a nice Christmas dinner. I'm open to veg/pescatarian menu ideas if anyone has any. We mostly will spend time in front of the fireplace, eating good things, sipping wine, and hanging out. The only thing missing is everyone.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
On Sunday, Austin did some work on the cars and I enjoyed baking the best cookies ever (theseohmygodmakethemnow), working on cards, and watching the Packers game. It was pretty much a perfect day of simple pleasures.
It's been very chilly here with overnight lows dipping before freezing and our high today was around 38°. I'm a bit embarrassed at just how cold it feels to me but I embrace it with some of my favorite things- scarves, sweaters, lots of tea, soup, candles, fires... We have a running spreadsheet of features we love/hate in a home for future house shopping and Austin, observing my love of the fireplace, added that one near the top of the must-haves.
We're off and running with another busy week. I'm doing lots of writing, Austin is doing lots of writing, but Friday we'll get done a little early to hit up our Julbord Swedish feast.
Friday, December 2, 2011
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
My brother and his wife had a baby boy on Friday, November 18th. I checked my phone as soon as I woke up and there was the first picture of my nephew. Now Hailey has a brother, my parents have their first grandson, and Austin has another nephew to shower in Legos.
On Friday it was time to hit the conference. The first stop was the always overwhelming exhibitors' hall. This time my mission was to collect swag for my dissertation participants. The Japanese booths were fantastic; one had a sushi chef preparing food sample and even giving lessons on how to make rolls. I got lots of great materials there. I also got some French materials from the very generous Swiss embassy. After that, I attended some sessions. One of the best was given by the educational ambassador from Spain who happened to be based in Austin, TX. He discussed the multilingual schools in Spain and I was blown away to learn that one successful school near the Pyrenees teaches five subjects in five different languages. ¡Mágnifico!
Later that day, some colleagues and I gave a workshop on encouraging student writing. It went well and our room was packed with 150 audience members. We had the audience engage in some of the activities we had designed and I was so impressed with the creativity. For dinner, we went out for Native American fry bread tacos at a place that Guy Fieri (of Food Network fame) had featured. The food was outstanding and affordable. I am going to have to track down Guy's episode and watch it.
Saturday was another day of sessions and I also participated in a focus group about a textbook for a hybrid online/face-to-face class. It was interesting to see the kind of feedback publishers get from instructors and the instructors' beliefs about what their students would or would not do well with. I had to leave a little early to get to my panel discussion, presentation #2. The discussion session was also enjoyable to present and I liked that we had scheduled time to really talk with the audience members in smaller groups. It seemed as though we had barely scratched the surface when we came back to the larger group to end the session. After the panel, I had a meeting and gathering to attend and both offered wonderful appetizers and drinks so I didn't need to head out for dinner again.
Fortunately, there was time on Sunday to get one last meal in Denver. Four colleagues and I went to a place called Lola that I immediately fell for since it was decorated with my very favorite art media- stained glass, metal sculpture, and mosaics. Unfortunately, it was too dark to really photograph. I was to busy enjoying some table-side guacamole and my brunch entree, butternut squash-goat cheese enchiladas garnished with chile rojo and lime crema. Beyond wonderful and I'm already pondering recreating this at home.
Finally, with a little time to kill before heading to the airport, we stopped at one of my favorite bookstores in the world, Tattered Cover. One of the many reasons I love it- the shelves and shelves of non-English magazines. I scored Hola, my source for all Spanish gossip.
Then it was off to the airport and back to Texas, home, sweet home. I slept for about 10 hours last night with a cat on top of me and woke up with a cold. I am hoping to fight it off since I am so looking forward to hosting Thanksgiving for four of our friends.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Friday, November 11, 2011
Monday, November 7, 2011
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Look closely at the flower spray; his favorite tractor is hidden inside. What a great touch. The other pictures are from our time at Acorn Acres, his farm. It was a perfect fall day to kick through leaves, tromp around the grounds, and just breathe deep and honor a great life.
So long, Mel.
Monday, October 24, 2011
I can't believe only one week of October remains. Having a wedding trip/vacation in the middle of the month made time seem to fly. We've got a busy November coming up too so I feel like it will soon be Christmas.
We had a low-key weekend. Austin bought me some pumpkins, I made a caramelized onion strata for dinner (ok, but I'm not sure I'll make it again), and we watched the big Packer game on Sunday. We didn't get around to putting up Halloween decorations outside so hopefully we can do that early this week.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
The wedding invitation had a "game of love" theme and the wedding didn't disappoint. The tables were named after board games and my sister, cousin, and our husbands just happened to be seated at the "Trouble" table. I particularly enjoyed the wedding because the bride's family was German so there was a lot of bilingualism going on. I spoke Spanish at our table with a fellow teacher and also with a bartender. Celebrating the marriage of a very cool couple with a side of language made the wedding extra enjoyable to me and hopefully others. What a blast!