Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Something Old, Something New...

The theme of our year, became the theme of our Christmas.  As many of you know, we made the tough decision to stay in Oregon for the holidays due to a busy year leaving us a little short.  Short of time off work, short of funds and slightly short of energy!  So, we decided to make the most of what might very well be a one-of-a-kind Christmas with just us :)!

We began our festivities on Christmas Eve with something new... baking together.  We baked our old favorites from back home and filled a Christmas platter full of goodies!


From there we visited Moonstruck Cafe and tried something new; rich hot chocolate (that you can only justify on Christmas) and delicious truffles.  I'm pretty sure our Christmas bliss was contagious when the kind girl at the counter offered us adorable truffles as a gift for coming in on Christmas Eve.  I believe Andy's words were "It's a Christmas Miracle!"  With a familiar sugar high in tow, we headed to downtown Portland to check out Christmas lights.

Christmas Miracle? 

Christmas in Portland.  Not quite the Winter Wonderland that we enjoy in Iowa!
We ended our evening cashed in front of an old favorite, The Muppet Christmas Carol!


Christmas morning came bright and early as Andy's eyes opened with excitement around 6 am ready to exchange gifts.  We enjoyed Andy's mom's breakfast casserole before exchanging gifts with each other and my family via Skype!  After a Christmas nap, we were excited to Skype with Andy's family - some in Hudson, Ia and some in Michigan.  So fun to see everyone even if it is through a computer!





Our evening ended with Oregon wine (a new tradition?), a delicious dinner and tons of laughter (VERY old traditions!).  How blessed we have been this year. 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Only Thing Constant is Change*...

We were honored to celebrate the weekend in St. Louis as a special couple made large changes in their lives as they became Mr. & Mrs. Sean and Audrey Treece!

Change was in the air and was beautifully punctuated by my Uncle Jody on Thursday evening.


There were smaller changes too.  Like the ones that you feel in your heart when you see your family for the first time in too long, are embraced with love and that small hole that you didn't know existed gets filled!

And when you laugh really hard for three days straight and the muscles in your cheeks are exercised like they haven't been in such a long time.

There are larger changes too.  Like when a groom shakes off his nerves so he can fully embrace the promises that he is making to his new family.

Or when the intoxication levels change and the Christmas carols get louder, the dance moves get "better" and the night gets a little more blurry!

The love was constant though and there was more than enough to go around.


And to end this post, I have to say... "Jizz Sock"!  And include the following photos for the sole purpose of providing more laughter.
CHEERS!
Amanda

* Thank you, Uncle Jody, for inspiring this post!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Very Merry "Sour Patch" Christmas...

A few highlights from the weekend in a quick end-of-the-week post meant to level out my lengthy last week post.

Gingerbread houses with Sour Patch Kids as their inhabitants.


A crazy Holiday Ale Fest and "when in rome..." you eat the food cart food being served.  A chicken sausage with who knows what on top... I told them to give me "the fixin's!"

CHEERS!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thankful.

I am thankful this year.

Ok, that's an understatement. 2010 has been a monstrosity of a year for Mr. & Mrs. Wendling. We became just that (among a million other things). But I think the way we spent our weekend really summarizes all the things that I am thankful for.

I am thankful for my husband and his smoking skills. Check out this turkey and T-giving spread.



Well, my skills are also important, yes? I mean who else can drink (chug?) wine and pull off a pink and paisley apron?
That last picture leads me to my next point. I am thankful for this amazing adventure that we are on that allows us the opportunity to explore beautiful places like this:
Seriously, that is not a stock image. We visited this vineyard among others on Friday as the local wineries have "barrel parties" over Thanksgiving weekend. These left us with an overflowing wine rack - oops!

And finally we explored Seattle by foot. We both finished the Seattle Half-Marathon. And I am so thankful that we are both healthy, able-bodied individuals who can complete such a feat.

Andy did great at his first race of this distance and I did ok all things considered (I had that broken toe 6-week ago - ughh!). And though I don't have photos of us running because, well, we were running. I do have some cool photos of Seattle so enjoy!

I look photoshopped into the above photo, I know. But how cool is the market at Christmas?


Can you spot the Space Needle with a Christmas tree on top?

Final thoughts as I wrap up this lengthy entry.
  1. We are ever so thankful for our families and for those friends who are like our families. We miss you like crazy. Every. Single. Day. But thank you for letting us have these adventures and we promise that one year soon we'll be home for all the holidays!
  2. Happy Anniversary to my husband! 6 Months already!
  3. Welcome to your 20's, Mags. Live. It. Up.

P.S. If you are ever in Seattle and need to carb-load. Might we recommend Il Bistro? Not sure there could be a cooler atmosphere. (Ok, maybe in Italy.)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tell it to the Judge...

For this Iowa girl, waking up to this scene - barely a trace of snow on the ground - beckoned no description of Winter Wonderlands or exciting Snow Days. It mirrored more the familiar inconvenience of travel, desperate attempts to keep hands warm enough to type and worry about getting to the gym later.

Until I caught the glimpse of this guy out my window. Try telling him that this is no winter wonderland and all the sudden my apple cider is warming on my stove and the gym is no where in sight. It's a holiday week after all and this guy's started early and with much more excitement!


It really is about perspective, isn't it? I am thankful for you, joyful sledder in a bright yellow coat!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veterans Day!

"So we live out in our old van
Travel all across this land
Me and you

We'll end up hand in hand
Somewhere down on the sand
Just me and you

Just as free
Free as we'll ever be
Just as free
Free as we'll ever be

We'll drive until the city lights
Dissolve into a country sky
Just me and you

Lay underneath the harvest moon
Do all the things that lovers do
Just me and you

Just as free
Free as we'll ever be
Just as free
Free as we'll ever be"

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Past the Proverbial 'Bump in the Road'

And running again.
*It should be noted that this is not a stock image.
In Oregon they literally let you know when to expect bumps in the road with oversized sans serif typography. Wouldn't it be nice if these letters were scattered so literally elsewhere in life?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Wonderful, wonderful weekends!

There are no words for the emotions I feel toward the weekends these days. As blessed as I know I am to have the flexibility of working from home - my days are often lonely and offer little excitement but when the weekend comes it feels like the whole world (or city) is ours to experience.

This weekend began with a knock on our door. Andy and I literally looked at each other startled and puzzled - this knock was surely meant for someone else as the two people we know in Portland were sitting in our bedroom. Andy headed down and was pleasantly surprised to meet our neighbor - Bill. Bill, as we quickly found out, was hosting Bryon Friedman for a quaint show in his living room and invited us to come over.


This was such a cool experience and a fun way to meet a few of our neighbors (plus the band!). I recommend anyone who likes Jack Johnson, The John Butler Trio or even Dave to check out this guy's music.

On Saturday we had big plans to hike and wander downtown but they were cut a little short by the amount of wine I consumed on Friday - oops - and the calling we had to go watch the Cyclones once we made it downtown. Andy can still be heard randomly announcing "God damnit, Cyclones" thanks to that game.

Sunday began with two equally pleasant surprises. 1) It was sunny and 2) Daylight Savings. This meant we were out our front door by 9 am and ready to see what the city had to offer. First, we found the hike that we had missed on Saturday.



From the hike we stumbled upon a new oasis of fun - Nob Hill. This is literally a mecca of all things I love - shoes, clothes, food, wine, beer, kitchen gadgets! We literally wandered this neighborhood for hours and then the rain that we expected at 7 am found us. Like true Portland-loving pretend natives - we endured the rain sans umbrellas until we finally headed home.


CHEERS!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Home and Halloween!

The last few weeks have been busy ones. I traveled back to Iowa for work and was able to catch up on meetings and spend lots of time with family and friends. I had wonderful visits with my sisters, crazy brother-in-law, good friends Betsy, Brie, Flip and Baby Bo as well as my parents, grandmas, brother, Andy's family and great friend, Diane. So nice to see you all!



I was asked by so many people "How is Portland?" while home and I can't help but respond that it's wonderful. With such a short-term change in our lives it's hard not to enjoy the wonderful things that Portland has to offer and shrug off the not so fun things. So, in a few months time we have gone from...



To...
We headed to Mt. Hood this weekend where there is already quite a bit of snow although the ski season has not yet officially opened. We are excited to snow shoe and ski once the season arrives (and this toe heals).



We also managed to find time to carve pumpkins and welcome quite a few trick-or-treaters! Can you guess which pumpkin is mine and which one is Andy's? (Hint: one of us used a drill for the eye balls - yes, a power drill!)

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

CHEERS!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ouch my toe!

Well, things have slowed down, at least temporarily, for this Wendling household. Last week I had - what a close group of our friends calls - a "dumbass attack" when I ran into a wall (completely sober) in our kitchen and broke a bone right below my pinky toe. So, that means no running, no hiking and very little walking long distances for a short while. Here is the toe and wall....

No Damage...

Damage...

However, a broken toe doesn't stop us from Skyping and laughing hysterically with family on a Saturday evening so that's just what we did. Here are some pics for proof.

Costume Change #1


The Other Side of the Camera...


Costume #2

Costume #3

Costume #4
And I'll leave you on that classy note!
CHEERS!
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