a quick hello

Hello there.
These past two weeks have been magical.
we have visited with so many of my favorite people,
enjoyed the sunny California weather, and have eaten lots of yummy food.
I have a lot to share, but for now I am off to enjoy a big glass of egg nog
and an evening catching up with family. 


the first christmas

Today, we head out on a road trip to California. 
We are spending the holidays out there with my family. 
Twelve hours in the car with this guy could not get any better. 
This pictures is an oldie, but it brings a smile to my face every time I look at it. 
It was taken during the first Christmas break (from college) that we hung out with each other . 
During that break are friendship began. 
We quickly became best friends with the occasionally kiss thrown in. 
That Christmas was also the first time that Bear met and entertained some of my extended family. 
Six years later he is still my best friend, but now I get all the kisses I want. 
yeah for holidays... yeah for love... yeah for families... and yeah for road trips!  

nothing a little lights, candy, and pizza won't fix

we celebrated Christmas with the Brooks this past weekend, and it was just what I needed to feel the Christmas spirit . You see, I have been a little scrooge-ish. Un-prepared and scattered are two words that you could describe how I have been feeling about the up-coming holiday. But thanks to a great weekend of yummy food at Maxwells, my favorite pizza place ever, decorating the Brooks Christmas tree, watching Christmas movies,  and relaxing with family, my spirits are up! Bring on this merry season. I . am . ready! 


around my town. Reading, Pennsylvania

I am super pleased to introduce to you 'around my town'. a new feature on my blog that will take a closer look at bloggers and where they live. Bear and I have traveled a lot since we got married and I love getting recommendations of places to eat or things to see from other blogs. That is how this little feature got started. i hope that you enjoy learning about the different towns and all the fun recommendations of places to visit and restaurants to try from bloggers around the country. 

without further ado, I want to introduce to you Betsy. Born and raised in Reading, Pennsylvania, a graduate student in Multicultural Education. Her blog, Heavens to Betsy, is all about photography, crafts, food, and fun. 

Let's get to know a little bit more about Betsy and Reading, Pennsylvania. 

How long have you lived in Reading, PA?
I was born and raised in Reading, and other than the last 4 years, have lived here all my life.  I moved to Wenham, Massachusetts to go to Gordon College in the fall of 2007, but moved back home to Reading last December when I graduated. 

What is one thing that you love about Reading?
I love that my entire family is here.  We’re a pretty tight-knit bunch, and it’s great to not be more than 15 minutes from anyone.  But I guess that’s not really about Reading.  I love the diversity in landscape that Reading has.  It’s situated in a valley, surrounded on all sides by mountains.  You can be in the heart of the city drive five minutes and be in suburbia, and drive another five minutes and be on a farm.  It’s situated right between Lancaster and Philadelphia, so you don’t have to go too far to experience some different ways of life.  It’s crazy how fast the landscape changes around here, but it gives Reading a city and country feel all at the same time.

What is one thing that you don’t like about living in your town?
We don’t have an Anthropologie.  (Just kidding!)  While there are a lot of awesome things going on in the Reading area, the city is pretty rough.  It’s not exactly the safest place around.

If you could use one word to describe your state/town/house what would it be?
Community –minded.  

Favorite go-to Dinner Spot?
This is super lame, but I really love Panera & Moe’s Southwest Grill.  Yeah, not exactly unique.

If you had the opportunity to take someone to only one place in Reading where would it be?
Mt. Penn.  It’s one of the mountains in Reading, and houses the Pagoda and the Fire Tower.  The Pagoda is literally a Japanese-style Pagoda.  I think it was a hotel or something, but now it’s a museum of sorts.  And right in the middle of the mountain is the Fire Tower, which you can climb to the top of and see the entire Greater Reading area.  It’s easily the best way to show someone Reading, and it’s pretty cool, too.

Where is the one place that you would not want to forget your camera?
Oooo…this is a hard one.  I pretty much take my camera everywhere that I go, but I’d have to say you wouldn’t want to forget it if you were heading up towards Lancaster county.  The rolling hills, farms, and even Amish horse & buggies are so picturesque!

Favorite weekend getaway?
The beach!  We’re about 2 ½ hours from both the Delaware and Jersey seashores.  Easy day or weekend getaway!

Where would we might find you on a Saturday afternoon?
Probably out with friends, shopping or grabbing coffee, or, as nerdy as it sounds, at home, on my couch, doing homework.  

Best place to satisfy your sweet tooth?
Sublime Cupcakes.  I’m a cupcake addict, and Sublime makes different flavors everyday….my favorite are the Grasshopper, S’mores, and Harvest Pumpkin!

What is on your list of things that you want to do in the upcoming months?
Go up to Hershey for Candy Lane…they decorate the entire park for Christmas and they have the BEST hot cocoa.  (plus, the town smells like chocolate…what’s not to love?)

Favorite blogger? 
I’m a HUGE fan of Naomi over at The Rockstar Diaries.  Her little family is the cutest!


the weekend

Highlights from the weekend include

1. going to glades for hamburgers. This use to be one of our weekend hangout spots (the parking lot) when I was younger.  It was as delicious as I remembered it being.  They have this white sauce for dipping your fries (and anything else) and it is scrumptious! It's so good that I kept some and it's in my refrigerator for when I get a craving.

2. taking a walk up Hobble Creek Canyon, and then driving around looking at all the million (x6) dollar houses that are hidden up throughout the canyon.

3. watching Shento play in the snow.

4. coming home and trying out our new espresso maker. Bear made a killer pumpkin spice espresso!

5. (not pictured) Bear and I walked to center street to watch Santa turn the Christmas lights on in downtown provo. The lights were so so, but the walk was wonderful. It is great living within walking distance to downtown.

That wraps up our weekend. How was yours?


electric light parade

on saturday, we took a little visit to Ogden to watch the electric light parade, santa run, and visit the city park filled with playhouses decorated for the holidays.  we arrived just in time to get a hot beverage and watch the 700 plus santa look-a-likes run down main street.  later, we watched the light parade, walked around the village, and had dinner at Roosters. I highly recommended eating here if you ever get the chance.  it was a perfect evening out with my family. a special thanks to Bear for making us all laugh at your ridiculous jokes during the evening events.   


we spent Thanksgiving with the Brooks family and it was wonderful. we were spoiled with not one but two turkeys... a fried and a roasted. the fried was my favorite, it was so moist and delicious. we stuffed ourselves, but that's what your suppose to do on Thanksgiving, right? Bear's mom organized for all of us to paint either a snowman or santa to get in the spirit of the holidays. it was a great idea and lots of fun. everyone's came out looking spectacular. this was the first Thanksgiving that Bear and I have spent with family, and although we missed are friends we were so thankful to be around all of our family.