Ladies’ Culture Club 2009

So my aunt on my dad’s side of the family started this thing a few years ago that we call “Ladies’ Culture Club”, where the women on that side of the family over the age of 16 are invited to go to a play and then dinner down in Minneapolis. The first year we went to Hamlet, the next year they went to The Wedding Singer (I missed that one), last year we went to Jesus Christ Superstar, and this year we are going to Phantom of the Opera. I’m so excited! I love going to see plays, and it’s a great chance to catch up with people I don’t see often. Most of us don’t live in the same area (NO ONE lives near Ryan and I. Ha.), and so we don’t see each other often.

I will fill you in on what I thought about the play (and about dinner at Hell’s Kitchen) when we get back in town.

Have a great weekend!

Happy Thanksgiving!

We have eaten all the turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, gravy, and vegetables we can handle. We’ve played a few card games, and now everyone is relaxing. Ryan is fixing his sister’s computer, his mom and I are watching TV, and Lisa and his dad are hanging around here somewhere.

The pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust that I made tastes good, but it got REALLY tall in the pan, and then I had to bake it a full 20-25 minutes longer than the recipe called for, so the outside got dark, and the crust kind of fused into a kind of gingersnap caramel candy. I’m not sure what I did wrong…perhaps the wrong sized cheesecake pan? And next time I’ll try putting it in a water bath to keep the oven moist. Any expert cheesecake bakers out there with ideas of what might have gone wrong? It still tastes good, though, so I’ll definitely try it again.

This year I am especially thankful for family. I know that’s a total cliche, but every day I am reminded of how lucky Ryan and I are. We get along very well with each-other’s families. We both come from large families that are super-supportive, and the older we get the more we realize that that isn’t as common as it should be. And this is our first Thanksgiving as a married couple, which kind of puts an emphasis on the family part of it.

Of course I’m also thankful for other things that are less sappy. For instance:

  • Facebook, and it’s ability to let me keep up on people (some might say stalk, but I don’t like to label things)
  • Blogs – I get great recipes, read different perspectives on the news, and have a fabulous time living vicariously through people. Plus, some of them are very educational! I swear!
  • Our apartment – it might not be anything fancy, and we could definitely “use” more space, but it’s the perfect size and cost for us at this point, and I LOVE living next door to our friends. We can wander back and forth, visiting, drinking wine (or beer or pop or whatever), and just hanging out. It’s awesome.
  • Having a washer and dryer in our apartment building – we just got this about a month or 2 ago, and I am so so happy that we no longer have to transport all our laundry and the detergent and everything else to the laundromat. Also, the cost savings….my God, the cost savings….
  • Books (and by extension, the public library) – I’ve really been on a reading kick since we got married. I think I was overwhelmed with not having any spare time to read for a while, so now I’ve been devouring whatever book I could get my hands on. And so I’ve been spending a lot of time at the library.
  • Recently the city of Duluth had to make some big budget costs, so they’ve been asking people to volunteer there. I decided that volunteering at the library is pretty much the PERFECT job for me, so I signed up. So now, every Monday and Thursday I’ll be spending 2 1/2 hours there after work reshelving books in the non-fiction section. And I’m thankful for that too – I’ve been wanting to do some volunteer work, and this seems like it will be the perfect thing.

There are many other things I’m thankful for (um, our FRIENDS, for instance), but it’s late and apparently Ryan’s mom and I are going to try to brave Kohls tomorrow morning to pick up some scent diffusers for gifts for the people she supervises. I’m just hoping to make it through the experience without punching someone (Just kidding – I’m all bark and no bite, in case you haven’t noticed). We aren’t heading out until about 8, though. We aren’t THAT hardcore.

Happy thanksgiving, everyone!

Oktoberfest 2008

Well, I ended up going up to Oktoberfest by myself. Ryan had a bachelor party for a friend of his, and what kind of wife would I be if I didn’t let him go to that? ;-) I had a great weekend hanging out with my mom, a bunch of my aunts and cousins and a couple uncles, a couple of my mom’s cousins, and of course my awesome grandparents. Here is a teaser photo:

This is a wig that my mom bought “for Grandma” and that was worn by everyone. Including my grandpa. I can’t wait to see those pictures (my camera died before that, unfortunately). I like the purple, though. If I was ever going to be a rocker I think this would be a good look for me. ;-)

I’ve uploaded photos to facebook, but not to our Flickr site yet. I’ll add a link to this entry once I get that done (it should be tonight).

I <3 Easter Candy

I’ve been holding back, but Easter morning is tomorrow, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to control myself around all they yummy, sugary goodness that is Easter candy. mmm….

Ryan and I are down at his parents’ house for the weekend. We are hanging out, playing games, watching the UMD Women’s Hockey team win the championship game vs Wisconsin (GO BULLDOGS!), etc. Good times. They got about 4-5 inches of snow down here yesterday, though. That was definitely not fun to come down to (there was hardly any snow left in Duluth when we left town). But the 40 degree temps tomorrow should take care of it, hopefully.

I (obviously) don’t have much to say today. I’m really enjoying relaxing and visiting with Ryan’s family, since we haven’t seen them in about a month. So I’ll keep it short. I did want to point out that the links on the left (under my name) are some sites that I like reading. And if I like reading them, it must be good stuff, right? So go check ‘em out if you get a chance. I’ll probably be adding to the list (I actually read A LOT of blogs…it’s like a hobby or something), but those were my favorites so far.

Well, back to watching old movies. We got The Wizard of Oz down, and The Bad and The Beautiful is in progress. And no, I don’t know what it’s about. I’ve been typing on the blog. Obviously.

Happy Easter, everyone. Oh, and because I liked this feature on xanga, I’m carrying it over here.

Currently reading: For Women Only, by Shaunti Feldhahn. It was recommended (with the sister (or is it brother?) book, For Men Only) by the people at the engaged couples retreat we attended at church. Interesting stuff. I’ll elaborate once I’m done.