Friday, December 24, 2010

Baking at High Elevation

Reeeeally high elevation. I think we are currently at 10,000 feet, climbing ever higher as we fly, yes fly, to Atlanta! Thanks Google Chrome for giving us free internet on our flights until Jan 2nd! Sweet!

The other day I attempted baking for the second time at high elevation. The product? Banana bread. Yum. I've been told by numerous women in the area that you either bake at a hotter temperature or you leave the bread/cake/cupcakes/muffins etc in longer in order to bake thoroughly. Most complained of whatever they baked turning out lop-sided. Well, here's to hoping our banana bread turned out ok! I whipped it out of the oven, let it cool, wrapped it up and threw it in the refrigerator. This morning it was wrapped in tin foil and placed gingerly in Jack's carry on luggage. After watching his carry on bag get crammed into the overhead compartment we'll see how it actually turns out once we touch down in Raleigh! I guess I'll have two excuses if it's not as good as usual, high elevation and carry-on luggage! :)


It's Christmas Eve and we're headed to the East Coast for some fun family and friend time! Looking forward to visiting with anyone we can catch while we're in town. So thankful for the opportunity to come back for a visit! And also, very thankful for Christmas and the reason for our celebrations!! Merry Christmas to all!!! :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pandora

So, I'm a fan of Pandora. I love that they pick the music based on one particular song I like and usually it is spot on. So there may be the occasional blah song that I can skip over but the nice thing is, they remember which songs I didn't prefer and they don't bother me with them again! Lovely. If I may make a suggestion, a "station" I've been enjoying lately is based on the song "Apologize" by OneRepublic/Timbaland. Definitely enjoy the mix they throw at me on that station.

Lot's to do before we head to the EC tomorrow!!! We've got some bananas going bad so we decided a little banana bread would be yummy to make and take on the trip with us. Should be interesting to see how it turns out baking at high elevations. I also need to figure out how to pack everything in one carry on with all the gifts we have to pack as well. Should be interesting. I think we're planning on doing some laundry during the time we are gone! Oh yeah, then there's that other issue of wanting to leave the house somewhat organized before we leave in order to come home to a clean place rather than a disaster area. Was wanting to get in one last snowboarding venture today, we'll see if that actually gets to happen with all the other things going on.

Looking forward to a semi-date tonight with Jack. We're headed to Bobcat Bite for the first time since I've moved here! Soooo excited about this.

I'm pretty sure we'll end up splitting a burger because they are so amazingly huge. Delicious. Scrumptious. Awesome! Can't wait! We figured we'd eat out our last night in town in order to not have to do as many dishes or worry about leftovers hanging around for 2 weeks :)

Hmm, speaking of everything that needs to be done...I guess I better hop to it! :)

2 days until Christmas! Woooo!!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

For Kara :)

My friend Kara is doing a giveaway on her blog for a super cute white warp bowl! I think it's fun when my friends do giveaways on their blogs and this is one I wanted to enter to win! We'll see! If you are interested in winning just jump on over to her blog at http://www.thekssblog.blogspot.com/ but really should I be inviting you to do this? That means less of a chance to win! :) But, seriously, if interested, hop on over there to check it out! Also, she's always got really cute posts about her beautiful son and the fun things he's up to as he grows :). Here's to you, Kara!

In other news...it rained today...it actually took me a second to figure out what that strange noise was. I haven't heard rain in so long (being almost 4 weeks)! We have sky lights and it was pitter-pattering on the skylight and confused the mess out of me! Only a few more days until we head to the East Coast! Looking forward to seeing my family and getting to play with the new niece! I swear she gets cuter and cuter every time I see a picture of her. Case in point :

See! I told you! Adorable :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Guilty Pleasures or not so guilty really.

Ok I admit it. I've got a few. Like...
1. The Sing-Off on NBC... hulu it if you haven't seen it. It's short only a few episodes but SO good!
2. Google Reader...I love following different blogs and am thankful for the Reader to have them all in one easy spot!
3. Sappy love songs (yes, that's of one of my Pandora stations). Great cleaning music for me!
4. Playing Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook. There, I admitted it.
5. Staying in my PJ's as long as I can.
6. Ordering an appetizer when out to dinner and then splitting the meal.
7. I like pop music. It's lively.
8. Singing along really loud to a song when I have the lyrics!
9. And singing really loud in the shower when I'm the only one home...
10. And singing really loud even when I get the lyrics wrong :)
11. Driving fast, especially in the new Flex.
12. Eating leftovers for breakfast.

Those are just a few that I can think of but I'm sure there are plenty more. What are some of yours? Are you willing to admit them?! :)

Lumber Jack

He decided to grow the beard out for winter. He feels that it keeps his face warmer. I don't doubt that!
This makes me :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Santa Fe = Holy Faith

Looking back over the past year, December 2009 until December 2010, I'd say my faith has been on a roller coaster ride. I'm sure most of us have heard the saying, in your spiritual life you will have peaks and valleys, and I agree with that, but sometimes, those valleys can be so low, so dark, so horrible, it makes you question if 1) you really have a peak in the future and 2) whether you really had any faith at all. Welcome to my last year. I careened down into a valley that was so dark, disgusting, and discouraging I questioned if I could even possibly have had a relationship with the Lord and could easily have pictured myself lost in that dark valley forever. Praise God that in his infinite wisdom and sovereignty he gave me a gracious, kind, patient, and loving husband, family and friends who spoke truth into my life, brought light and life back into my heart and spurred me on to the next step in my faith. I was challenged, oh was I challenged, to root out sin in my life. To root out the lies that were so easily taking over my heart and my mind. I was prayed for, thankful for people who take prayer so seriously, because it works!! I am living proof of the power of prayer. No way in my own strength or determination could I have turned my back on the ugliness that was engulfing my life. It was the power of the Lord and his willingness to answer prayers that my life took a turn for the better. Now I am humbly with my wonderful husband and striving to walk ever closer with the Lord. Learning how to fall madly in love with Him in order to be a godly wife who loves, honors and respects her husband. Do I fail? Heck yeah. Do I fight, argue, get angry, pout and act selfishly? On too many occasions. Do I know the power of forgiveness and deep, unconditional love? You better believe it! Oh so deeply thankful for a godly husband who's deepest desire is to walk humbly with the Lord and show his wife grace and the love that Christ shows the church on a daily basis. Thankful to be living in Santa Fe...Holy Faith. Seems fitting. :)

I am oh so looking forward to this Christmas season. It feels like a fresh start on life. It is WONDERFUL!
via
We are also approaching our 5 year anniversary!! I nearly blew our marriage but PRAISE GOD He didn't have failure in our marriage's plan! Words can NOT express my humbleness and gratitude for the salvation of our marriage.
via

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Thankful for Christmas and Christmas Lights

Today in church we sang a number of Christmas carols and oh how I LOVE singing Christmas songs in church. I love the reminder of what this season is all about. We also read the story of Jesus' birth. It's always refreshing and exciting to read that story and the wonder it brings to remember that our Savior came as a lowly babe into this world and lived as a man, yet committing no sin, and was one with the Father. He did ministry right along with his disciples, teaching and instructing them as he went. And he came in order for us to have salvation! What a Savior we have! Praise God for this Christmas season. Excited to spend time with our friends and family on the East Coast. Desiring to get past the commercialism of this season and celebrate the true meaning!

Jack and I enjoyed another day up on the slopes on Friday (so thankful for his schedule where he gets every other Friday off) and were able to enjoy some fresh powder for the first time! The hill got about 18" of fresh powder and falling down didn't seem quite so bad! Definitely thankful for the opportunity to take advantage of this activity so close to home!
(click picture to enlarge) Fresh snow! It snowed the whole time we were there, too!
Later that night we enjoyed driving around the city taking pictures of the plaza and different things downtown. Thankful that Santa Fe decorates for Christmas!
The Plaza and St. Francis Cathedral Basilica

Thursday, December 16, 2010

So maybe it IS cold outside!

The snow started falling at 7am this morning. It is now 7:45pm and only stopped for about 15 minutes about half an hour ago. It is now currently snowing again! This. is. awesome. The forecast for Santa Fe is 10-18 inches! Incredible. I've never lived anywhere where 1) this is normal, 2) regular life continues normally with the forecast of snow, 3) the roads were pre-treated so well that they are clear with already about 5 inches fallen or 4) schools have not been closed yet and I don't even think will be closed, there is a 2hr delay though. Neat!! Looking forward to enjoying this snow fall tomorrow on the ski hill! Maybe falling down won't hurt quite so bad :)

Jack came home early in order to avoid getting stuck up in Los Alamos (they are predicted to get even more than SF) so we decided to stay inside and hangout. We started the movie Despicable Me and half way through we decided to pause it for a bit to wander out into the snow before it got too dark. We went on the similar hike that we took last week except this time it was snow covered! It was beautiful. The snow was falling pretty hard so some of pictures came out a bit blurry looking because it kept landing on the lens. We enjoyed how the city lights played off the cloud cover creating some really pretty and colorful views. After being out for a little while we headed back inside to finish the movie. It was great! Very enjoyable. We enjoyed some pizza delivery from a place less than a mile from the house and warmed ourselves next to the fire. One thing I enjoy about this dry climate is that our snowy clothes dried super fast! Yay!

The start of it all :)

Snow pom-poms!! A few hours later.

Gettin' thicker!

A bit more! Right before we headed out for the hike.


Hello!! Up on the hill with the condo behind me. It was chilly :)

Jack's keeping his hands warm, the snow was blowing side-ways.

The trail!


Pretty lights from Santa Fe


This guy sure was smiley. The snow joy must have been contagious :)


Feelin' good! Headed back to the house. The brim on my hat got snowed over.

that snow sure was zingin' around

Christmas lights!! (I said it first!!)

Flashy snow, tired of these yet?

Their stockings were hung from the chimney with care...to dry their hats of course! :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Baby it's cold...er not cold...outside!

I find it interesting that my friends and family back on the east coast are battling freezing temperatures and sleet/snow predictions. Jack and I checked the weather the other day and realized that we were a good 20 degrees warmer than each place our family lives (Wilmington, Raleigh, Winston-Salem, Atlanta)! We've been enjoying balmy upper 50 degree temps out here and I even open the two back sliding doors on the condo during the day just to cool things off a bit! The blazing sun here does wonders! However, looking ahead at the forecast they are calling for snow Thursday and Friday for which I am pumped about. Never thought I'd be thinking about how snow fall could affect our weekend. It will be fun to get to board on some fresh snow! Never done that before!!

In other things, just thought I'd humor you with this picture. It sure is hard work blogging, emailing, facebooking, gchatting, skyping, etc...ha!



I headed to the ski hill all on my lonesome today. Let me tell you, that is a HUGE step for me, to do something like that independently. Anyways. Just thought I'd share a few of the funny/interesting things I noticed while there.
1. a man skiing down the mountain with these wing/sail type things attached to his arms, he looked like a butterfly!

It was similar to this but picture it attached to his arms flapping under his arms not behind his back.
2. a man skiing down the mountain with a single ski pole that was extra long and had a tip on each end using it like you would a kayak paddle.

3. a guy snow boarding down the mountain holding a rake and using it as an air guitar. hilarious
4. there were only about 20 people on the hill at a time. i counted! i loved how not crowded it was!
5. lots of boarders going down the mountain doing lots of jumps, fun to watch.

Anyways, it was enjoyable to go up there and spend a couple hours practicing. Who's gonna come visit and play on the mountain with us?! We're open to house guests! We have our guest book ready and waiting!! Now if I could only get all these boxes unpacked! :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Snowboarding...a New [Mexico] Adventure!

So Saturday Jack and I decided to take advantage of Ski Santa Fe, the ski area 18 miles from our condo. We had a blast! As we were headed up the mountain we passed this lady on the side of the road kind of swaying with her right arm stuck out to the side. As we passed by I turned to Jack and said, "I think she was trying to hitch-hike." "Really?! It sure didn't look it to me!" said Jack. After a few seconds of discussion we turned around and asked where she was headed. "To the ski hill!"" Right on, hop in we're headed there, too." As she hopped into the Flex she replied something to the effect of, "sweet ride, this is nice."
For those of you wondering what the heck a Flex is...here's ours!
We found out that she was a snowboard instructor so on the ride up the mountain we talked about how she got into boarding, what brought her to Santa Fe, etc. She was nice and was thankful for the ride. She also gave us tips on where to go, park and what to take with us up to the lodge. Jack and I had decided a few days ago that it would probably be very beneficial to take a snowboarding lesson because Jack has gone boarding once (back in April in Idaho while on a job interview trip) but really had no experience at all. I had boarded once back in college in Boone with my sister and some friends but felt like I could honestly say, no, I have never snowboarded in my life when asked about it. So we got signed up for our lessons and went over to the waiting area. We were both nervous (well maybe Jack wasn't, but I sure was!) and very excited. As we were waiting we met a girl, Jillian, who had come up to take a lesson all on her own! I was impressed. Anyways, the three of us plus 2 others were in the same lesson together. We met our instructor, Tim, who was quite entertaining and fun to be around. He hiked us up the hill a ways and taught us how to skate (maneuver the board with one foot in the binding and one out), how to get both feet in our bindings while on the hill, how to stop (very useful!) and how to do a falling leaf (going down the hill side to side without turning at all). Thankfully Jack and I picked things up pretty quickly and he taught the two of us how to do "c" turns and then connect them into "s" turns within the first two hours of our lessons. (Side note: the lessons went from 10-12 and then 2-4 that afternoon. Also, found this really great blog post about someone's first day boarding lessons and it sounded almost identical to Jack's and my experience!) Tim told us he was impressed with how quickly we picked up the "s" turn within our first day every really trying to snowboard and mentioned that was unusual for beginner boarders. YAY! Very exciting news. Now, before you start thinking that Jack and I are expert snowboarders by any means...we ate it...quite a few times! I was thankful for my padded gloves on my hands because they hit the snow quite often, if only I had padding on my tail end! So after a 2 hour lesson with Tim we headed to grab some lunch at the lodge (note to self, bring a packed lunch next time, that junk was expensive!) and hung out with Jillian getting to know her a bit better. Poor girl is only 20 and she's had a pretty rough life but she was a lot of fun hanging out with and we enjoyed going back out on the slopes with her after lunch to try out all the new skills we had just learned.

Jack and I had never attempted to get on or off the ski lift (we didn't take the lift in our first lesson we simply hiked to almost the top of the hill to practice, long hike) but Tim had given us verbal instructions before the end of our morning lesson. So off we went managing to get on to the lift just fine. As we rode to the top we discussed the instructions given on how to get off the lift. HA! We managed to crash and burn on our first attempt :) I think Jack even said he accidentally landed on top of the back of my board therefore we both went down but I wouldn't have made it off the lift without falling anyways, so it definitely was no fault of his! We made 3 successful trips down the hill, Jack managed to not fall on his last 2 trips, and I managed to only fall twice on my last 2 trips, woohoo, save the rear-end a bit!!

After our 3 trips we headed back over to meet up with our afternoon instructor. Jillian hadn't quite gotten the hang of the s-curve so she went in a different group while Jack and I ended up with a new instructor, Isaac. He was fun. He took us up to the top of the hill and was surprised to learn that Jack and I already gotten the hang of the s-curve so our goals with him were to make it down the hill with no falls. That worked for Jack, but not for me! My first run down that afternoon ended up with my huge fall of the day. I caught the edge of the board and flew like superman a ways down the hill, then landed and managed a belly flop, hit my face on the snow (yay, didn't break my sunglasses!) and then tumbled for a ways down the hill! Hilarious. I got up laughing and a bit dazed with a nice big strawberry on my hip and wrist and a lot of snow down my pants! After that Isaac rode behind me calling out instructions and telling me to be patient (bc when I wasn't patient was when I would fall) and would ride over to check on me after each fall and give me more pointers. It was so helpful! Then his focus for us was to learn how to successfully get off the lift with no falls! I think we made it twice each without falling, shew! On our last run down the hill Jack and I were feeling quite tired. Jack managed to take a horrible tumble and ended up popping out of his bindings! He landed underneath the lift and had numerous calls from people on the lift letting him know it looked like his fall hurt and wondering if he was alive. He laid there and waited for me to make it down to where he landed. I didn't even realize it was him at first! He managed to get back into his bindings but was pretty sore so we rode to the bottom of the hill and called it a day. Isaac told us he was really impressed with our progress that day and said, even though he shouldn't be saying it, he didn't feel like we needed more lessons, we just needed to come out and practice more. GOOD NEWS! Lessons could get expensive! We met up with Jillian to exchange contact info and then we headed home. We had a blast and we are looking forward to heading back out there next weekend. I may even try going on my own one day this week. We'll see if I get up the guts for it. Anyways, through all the stuff we were doing we only managed to snap 2 pictures but here they are. It was a gorgeous day and it wasn't crowded at all. So thankful!


Friday, December 10, 2010

Santa Fe Sunset

Jack was driving home from work yesterday and called to tell me to race to the top of the hill behind our condo and snap some pictures. Boy was I thankful!! Check these out. We sure live in a beautiful area! (click pictures for a bit larger view, had to compress them to fit on the blog)















I had a blast snapping these photos. The colors were amazing. The weather was fun. I enjoyed that this was right out my back door! Very fun. You know you want to come visit ;)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Santa Fe's too good for that...

Or so it seems. Here are a few of the stores/restaurants that I've come to find out are not in Santa Fe...some even over 200 miles away! Wowsas!

1. Chick-fil-a - 56.4 miles away in Albuquerque, NM! If anyone knows me, they know this is my absolute FAVORITE fast food restaurant. Jack mentioned we'd have to have date night in Abq and go to Chick-fil-a!

2. Panera Bread Company - 223 miles away in Colorado Springs, CO!

3. Home Goods - none found in NM, closest, again Colorado Springs, CO!

4. Blockbuster - none found in NM, again, and guess where the closest is? You guessed it, CO Springs, CO! This is crazy.

5. Kroger/Harris Teeter/Food Lion - none of those household names (for me at least) around here, we've got things like Albertson's and Smith's.

6. Old Navy - 60.67 miles away in Albuquerque, NM! 

7. Carrabbas Italian Grill -CO, Springs...I sense a trend. Sigh.

That's all I can think of for now. I'm sure there will be others discovered. But that's part of the fun of being in a new place, getting to discover new favorite places and new local jaunts to frequent! Here's to discovering more about this interesting city we call home!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Brief Request

Hey everyone! I wanted to put this post out there really quick to ask for some prayers! I submitted my application for 2 different positions at the local hospital in Santa Fe. Please be praying with me that if this is the Lord's will that I will get an interview and be able to hire on at this hospital. The positions are for either a cardiac ICU or a cardiac cath step down unit (which sounded a lot like where I was working in Pinehurst). While Jack and I aren't "strapped for cash" per say, we would like me to be working in order to pay down some debt that has accrued over the last few years! I know that God is sovereign through the whole job hunting process (as evidenced in my getting the job I got in NC, praise Him!) and I have some specific requests. Please pray for if it's the Lord's will 1)interest in my application, 2)an interview, 3)if hired on for me to click well with the co-workers (definitely enjoyed my co-workers from NC, a lot, it was totally a God thing there), 4)for wisdom in choosing a place to work. Thanks everyone! Your prayers are coveted and hopefully I'll be updating on a job sometime in the near future! Here's to NM adventures!!

Video from our road trip. Just for fun :)

video

Monday, December 6, 2010

Out and about around the condo

So tonight after dinner Jack and I went for a walk down through our "neighborhood" (it's only one street of condos) and down the road through another neighborhood. While we were out walking we saw a biker and then another guy who looked like he was walking into the high desert that's all behind where our condo sits. By behind, I don't mean like directly behind but more like the area alllll around the back of our condo, the area I got lost in the other day going for a hike. Anyways. So we started musing about where in the world he could be walking to. There is nothing behind us at all so we couldn't really figure out why he would be going that direction in the dark. Then Jack made an interesting suggestion, maybe he was headed towards the tent we saw set up back there the other day when we went trouncing out there with our camera! He sort of had this hippy-ish look to him and was carrying a pack with him. Who knows! Interesting thought. Anyways. I so enjoy where we live. You can see so many starts at night, we are way up on a hill so you can see the city lights down below, it's quiet and there are hardly any cars that pass by because we are on a dead end. It's great! Also, there are numerous sidewalks so it will make running easier (orrrr not easy because of the higher elevation, I get winded so quickly here! It's amazing! Need to get used to that).

The tent we found on our trek out back! It was nestled way back in there and couldn't been seen until we stumbled upon it.
The view from the hill behind our condo. Ours is the light tan/whitish one in the center of the picture
The condos just past our street. We have pretty views from our balcony out front.

The national cemetery across the highway from where we live.


more from our hike the other day. we are surrounded by mountains!

part of the trail



Jack and me saying "hello!"

Field goal!!

dancing :)

we found this neat old can filled with sand.


part of Santa Fe below and the mountains again.


our new camera takes really great action shots. go Jack!



I really like this dude.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Love our Charlie Brown tree :) and yes, that is green bubble wrap in Jack's present. You use what you got, right?!

Took my friend Rebecca's idea and am wanting to get ornaments from travel locations. We went here in October with Jack's family.

Another ornament :) Had a blast this past summer at OIB :)