Friday, November 30, 2007


It's been a little over a week since David and I hosted our first real Thanksgiving dinner. I say 'real' because we actually hosted Thanksgiving right before we got married, but we hosted in my basement apartment on Capitol Hill on a card-table my parents brought from Pittsburgh. This Thanksgiving was the first at our new home with our wonderful dining room table.

Since my courtship with David was such a whirlwind - 9 months of dating and 5 months being engaged - we didn't have time to establish many traditions before we got married. In the nearly two years that we've been married, we've put some thought into what traditions we want for our family. So far the traditions are few and far between. We celebrate Easter with a seafood dinner (have had three together so far), and Thursday nights are ALWAYS date night.

Several events took place during our Thanksgiving weekend that we'd like to keep as traditions... First, pizza is the ideal meal to have the night before Thanksgiving. It is easy to make, is unlike anything that will be eaten on Thanksgiving, leftovers can be wrapped in Al foil, and there will be someone in the house willing to have a slice for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning.

We also hope that spending time on the Mall over the holiday weekend becomes a tradition. We took my parents and grandmother for a walk around the Mall on Thanksgiving morning and enjoyed the spring-like 70 degree weather. We returned to the Mall on Friday, and it was COLD. We spent most of the afternoon in the natural history museum. The highlight of the museum was the 3-D movie Seamonsters. Here are a few pictures...(yes, that is my father hiding in the bushes!)


As for Christmas traditions, we are planning to take Christmas cookies and candy to all of our neighbors. I'm also planning on taking some to the train conductors during finals week. I'm also hoping that we can spend an evening at the National Botanical Gardens. We went last year to see the Christmas decorations at night and it was wonderful. If we do it again this year, does that make it a family tradition?

Monday, November 19, 2007


It only took me three months...I have finally organized the pictures from our trip to Taiwan. You can watch the slideshow here or visit my online photo album. There are a lot of food pictures. This is what happens when you are married to a 'foodie'. The food pictures fall into three main categories - Buddhist vegetarian (read: food that looks like meat, but is WHEAT), Taiwanese BBQ, and shrimp.

This past weekend I spent a lot of time studying. I had to complete an epidemiology take-home quiz on Saturday and then had to study for a statistics exam, which was this morning. Only one class left (epidemiology on Wednesday AM) before the Thanksgiving holiday. I'm really looking forward to four days without classes, and it will be fun having my parents and grandma in town for the holiday (hosting makes me feel very grown up!).

Tonight David and I are going to do our Thanksgiving dinner grocery shop (minus the seafood, which we won't get until Thursday). My parents and grandmother arrive on Wednesday. I'm planning to make homemade pizza (using Jill's crust recipe) on Wednesday. We'll have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday (minus the pumpkin pie because no one in my family seems to like it). We'll be having apple crisp instead (another recipe from Jill). Friday is my dad's birthday. David is putting together a menu for a celebratory birthday dinner and our friend, Harriet, is planning to join us for the evening.

Luckily I am feeling rather domestic right now (I'll use anything as an excuse to not study!)...

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Saturday evening Andrea, Angie, and I hosted a ladies dessert and game night at my house. We invited the past and present females who have led the youth group at our church and the moms of the youth. In all 12 ladies showed up - more moms than leaders - and we had such a fun time.

We started the evening off with hot drinks, chips, and several rounds of Catch-Phrase. We then took a break for ice-cream sundaes and more hot drinks before playing a round of "date, dump, or marry" and Phyllis' Bowl Game. I would like to point out that I don't actually own the "date, dump, or marry" game. We, being the crafty people that we are, put together our own list of men and played the game with that. The night was filled with a lot of laughter, which was so good for my soul. One of the highlights of the evening, for me, was hearing one of the moms ask when we were going to do this again. That is definitely a mark of good party.

I loved that I was able to host the event at our house. It is such a gift to share our space with others and to fill the whole home with laughter. Additionally, since we served ice-cream sundaes, I got to use my separated crystal dish for the hot fudge and caramel sauces. My Grandma Smullin gave me this dish at my Pittsburgh wedding shower. With the gift came a note from my grandmother reminding me of her promise to me years ago that she would give me the dish (which I love) when I got married. Unfortunately I have not had the opportunity to use the dish since my Pittsburgh shower (which was just about two years ago). It was so wonderful getting the dish out and then sharing the card from my grandmother with all the ladies at the party. Plus it the PERFECT for serving two sauces.

The dish, pictured here filled with homemade hot fudge sauce (also Grandma's recipe, which she kindly shared before I got married!) and caramel sauce, surrounded by brownies, ice-cream, strawberries and other sundae toppings. Yummy!!!! Angie is the one digging into the ice-cream in the background.


In other news, I have one exam and a quiz before the Thanksgiving holiday. I'm so looking forward to the LONG weekend away from school. The end of November/beginning of December is going to be full of papers, quizzes, exams, and homework. I plan to work hard, but also make time to make Christmas cookies and candy, address Christmas cards, SHOP, enjoy the parties and other festivities, and celebrate my 30th birthday.

David and I are hosting Thanksgiving next week! My mom, dad, and grandmother are coming into town for the holiday. And we have some DC friends planning to join us, too. For all of you out there wondering about whether or not the vegetarians will be serving turkey, the answer is yes. We will be making a turkey breast and also serving some sort of shrimp dish (for those of us not planning to eat the turkey). And we'll be making a veggie-friendly gravy so that it can be enjoyed by all!

Sunday, November 4, 2007


Pictures from my wedding - Bethann, Andrea, me, Mom, Becky, and Angie. Small people in front are Elizabeth and Rachel.

And here is A.B.B.A (Andrea, Becky L, Becky SD, and Angie) with Rachel T. and Janelle.

And here is A.B.B.A the morning Becky L left DC in May.

And this is my "cat cam"...