the pilgrims and us

oops!
just realized that I forgot to blog about family Christmas this year.
I’m going to say that because it snowed the last two days (ugh!) that it isn’t too late.

This past Christmas was our family’s first Christmas without both of my grandparents. A few days after Christmas every year my whole extended family used to get together at my grandparents to celebrate the holiday together. It has always been a special time to reconnect with everyone and just come together as a family. This past year we needed to come up with a twist on the tradition, and I think we did a pretty great job at doing so. We decided to all rent a house together for a few days. After much searching…it’s not easy to find a house to fit 20 people….we found an amazing house right on the beach in Plymouth! After all of our planning we feared that our plans might be spoiled by a nasty blizzard, but we risked it and were all able to make it!


getting ready to brave the snow, wind, and cold

aunt wendy and i may not have been the most stylish, but we were def the most warm

blinded by the wind…but still smiling ūüôā


always the athlete…way to go Jonathan!

Dan and Laura…master sledders!

freezing at the edge of the cliff leading to the beach….who can stand there the longest without holding on?!

back inside and warming up


even in such a big house poor Brian and Jack were relegated to mattresses in the closets….you were good sports guys!


Uncle Mark and Annie had to power through the snow and change their travel plans, but in the end they made it! We were all soo glad to see them!


poor Luke was recovering from knee surgery…what a trooper!


time for presents!!!


i have no idea what they were laughing about, but i love this picture!!

the men graced us with some christmas carols….was there beer involved?….we’ll never know ūüôā


another year of yankee swaps!!! ¬† ¬† Dan’s first open was a left over egg roll from dinner…nice! don’t worry we let him open another.

Brian and his antlers, and Leah and her gigantic gummy bear lollipop (eww!)

Erin modeling her beautiful garbage bag wreath…someone was actually gifted that as a real gift…what?!

the scary carolers reappeared again this year with a new addition…ahhh!!!!

i love that they’ve known each other and been friends since college

because who doesn’t love a good stairs picture ūüôā

it was a great Christmas and I can’t wait to continue to the tradition this year!

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my NYC Christmas

             
Dan and I picking out our tree at the 70th St “farm”
             
Emily and Bethany came over to help Dan and I decorate. Bethany is making it a Christmas tradition as she helped us last year as well.

              

              

               


then a few days later it was time to bake some Christmas cookies and watch Christmas movies with Lisa, Erica, and Emily
              
after a while we realized that we had been too ambitious in our baking and were now stuck decorating dozens of¬†cookies…oops! lets just say that the quality of the decorating went down as the evening when on

Dan was an excellent cheerleader and taste tester….smart man ūüôā

lisa put her head down on the pillow at the end of the night with her icing knife in hand and actually fell asleep

not exactly Christmas related,
but Dan and I woke up at 2:30am on 12/21 to go out and see the lunar eclipse
it was the first time in 372 years ago, during Galileo’s time, that there has been a lunar eclipse on the same date as the winter solstice…it was pretty cool!

’tis the season

Christmas has officially made it’s appearance in NYC!!!

Monday night the Upper West Side ushered in the season with the Winters Eve Celebration…the Lincoln Center tree lighting, feasting, and entertainment

              

               

               

               


columbus circle and time warner center
               


this afternoon i headed to midtown for some pre-tree lighting fun
               

              
the preparations were in full swing in Rockefeller Center this afternoon at 2pm when i swung by, including a pack of die hards waiting for the tree lighting.
               


i didn’t hang around for the lighting, but the tree looked pretty beautiful even without any lights on…YAY!!! Soo excited for Christmas!!!

gobble gobble

This year my family decided to change Thanksgiving up a bit and have a New York City style Thanksgiving. My parents came down and we hosted Thanksgiving in my apartment.
We were so excited because Wednesday Erin and Bill were able to join us to watch the balloons get blown up around the Museum of Natural History before heading off to Bill’s family in Buffalo.


thanks to some insider information we were able to avoid the crowds and stand of the side of the street for residents only


Thanksgiving morning we all woke up and lounged around chatting with parade preparations on tv in the background. When they were announcing the start of the parade we headed outside and down the street to Central Park West to watch the parade. It was the first time any of us had ever gone to see it in person.

We got there just in time to¬†see the leading balloon…SNOOPY… go floating by!

This turkey float has always been my favorite!! An oldie but goodie!
Now for the balloons!!
I couldn’t resist posting all of them…it’ll be like you were there! ūüôā


diary of a whimpy kid was a little camera shy

there was always a roar from the crowd as the balloons poked their heads around the corner…”it’s ronald mcdonald!!!”


it was like a carnival with all the balloons and cotton candy (at 10am)


some balloons just weren’t as good as the others ūüôā

SHERK!    he was huge!!!


Spider Man….he may have been our favorite…sooo cool!!

The Big Apple float

Horton Hears a Who

to Infinity . . . . and BEYOND!

yup…these two balloons followed each other…go figure

peekaboo candy cane

our faces hurt from smiling so much by the end of the parade

hehehehe

kids watching the parade from the Dakota…reminds me of Miracle on 34th St


Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus . . . and here he comes!!!


Believe!!

The parade was wonderful! We were all happily surprised and impressed!
Then it was time to head home and start preparing our feast!

that’s right….we cooked a full turkey in my little kitchen

Mom and Dan hard at work peeling the potatoes

no more then two people in the kitchen at once and we still were able to make a delicious meal

I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving and were able to spend it with family and friends. I am so thankful everyday for all of the loving ¬†and¬†wonderful¬†friends and family I’m lucky enough to have in my life. Love you all!

26.2 because 26.3 would just be crazy!

this year one of my favorite days in nyc…marathon day…. just got a lot better!

ERIN   RAN    THE    MARATHON    THIS    YEAR!!!!!

If you’ve never watched the marathon live and cheered on the runners it’s definitely something you should try to do some day. This year we had the extra excitement of cheering on not just the strangers, but also and most importantly Erin and Andrea!


We got gigantic balloons, a smiley face and unicorn head, so that¬†they could spot us in the crowd while¬†they were running. Erin helped me pick them out and we think they’re awesome :). They weren’t so fun the on the subway or in the wind, but Dad was a rockstar and kept them under control!

next stop….Brooklyn!!

8 miles…..Lafayette St, Brooklyn

17.5 miles….1st Ave and 87th St

YAY Erin!!!

Erin and Andrea looking like they just started running

i think she was having a good time ūüôā

blowing the crowd kisses

24 miles….Central Park Drive and 87th¬†¬† (can you see Erin coming?)

not feeling quite as good at mile 24, but still running her heart out!

Andrea enjoying the roar of the crowd

Erin’s cheering section and our homemade signs…Go Erin Go!

our 3hr and 59min finisher!!!!  totally amazing!!!!


Congratulations Erin and Andrea on an amazing and inspiring race!!!

Boooo!!!!

Happy Halloween!!!!
Skahen¬†Sibling (and Emily too) Pumpkin Carving 2010….¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†

           

          


Emily’s pumpkin was near impossible to carve.¬† In the end she had to get very creative and was successful using a large spoon to hammer the knife straight¬†through the pumpkin to make a lantern…always our little Martha Stewart.

Erin came up with the brilliant idea of doing a mystery pumpkin where we each did part of the pumking and then covered it up and handed it to the next person…very clever!

the results of our mystery pumpkin were pretty awesome!!!

they all turned out pretty great if you ask us!
happy haunting!!!

mp3 experiment 7


Emily, Dan, Kale, and I are ready to take on the city…

toilet paper – Check!
two pieces of paper with two letters – Check!
marker – Check!
wrapped present – Check!
iPods  and headphones РCheck!
then off we were to times square to start our mp3 experiment
(no pics ’til bryant park as I wanted to totally enjoy the¬†moment)
          
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†before we got there…¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†after!!!

waiting for everyone to arrive before we rush the field!!!

we finally¬†made it to bryant park and waited for our next instructions….
         
after we used our letters to make words and phrases with other participants these are what ended up on the opposite side…
thanks for the beautiful portrait you did of me steve??
do i really have that many wrinkles?
can you see the map of the world? each new person handed the paper drew a different continent…amazing/embarrassing how to many people don’t have a clue!

yes….there was mummy wrapping and dancing…

and not to mention some unscripted toilet paper throwing

mass exodus from the park

we unanimously decided that it was the coolest thing we had ever done in nyc!

here is the mp3 we all listened to….it’s long, but¬†funny if you want to listen:
mp3 experiment seven

they haven’t released an official video from the event yet, but you can go to improveverywhere.com to check out some pictures or check out the 2 youtube videos I posted below…they’re pretty good and give you an idea about what it was that we did…

westward bound

lisa and i headed off to the west coast last week to see whitney and conrad!!!
neither of us had ever been to seattle or idaho. so we were super excited to have our amazing friends as tourguides around their local stomping grounds.


first stop in seattle…the famous public market…fruit, flowers, and seafood as¬†far as the eye could see…even the famous fish throwing workers
               


first food in washington state…an apple!!
       
view of downtown seattle from gas works park
                 
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†1962 seattle world’s fair¬†space needle!!!

gas works park…perfect place to fly a kite!
                


can you see the sleepless in seattle house boat on the left?!!

the fremont troll under one of seattle’s bridges eating a¬†volkswagen¬†beetle

on the road to idado!!! there’s a whole lot of beautiful nothingness on the way ūüôā

we’ve spotted something interesting in the nothingness…

wind turbines as far as the eye could see

my attempt to take a picture of the front seat ended with this…guess they were too excited to see each other to enjoy the wind turbines ūüôā

next stop . . .

IDAHO!!!!

together again!

all was right with the world last week during our few short days with some amazing friends!

after our four hour drive from seattle we ended in beautiful Coeur d’Alene, Idaho!


there were lots of smiling faces….

not to mention a few silly faces along the way ūüôā


we jammed as much settlers playing, beer and wine drinking, grilling, hiking, and frisbee playing into the visit as we could!!

there are “mudgy and millie” statues from the children’s book all over coeur d’alene

conrad and lisa found a mudgy to take a ride on while waiting for whit to get out of work one morning

don’t worry we found another statue to hitch a ride on after whit arrived

         


our gracious hosts and lovely friends

look out franks there’s a lisa lurking around
             


sometimes the simple act of being together and skipping/throwing rocks into the lake is enough to totally make your heart sing

             

it was a wonderful week filled with great memories!
in case you’re ever looking for a beautiful and relaxing place to visit…don’t forget to consider visiting Idaho!

can’t wait ’til we’re all together again in 3 months for lisa’s wedding!! yay!!

what a view!!!

My friend Kim recently moved into a fabulous new apt buidling on my street and a bunch of us celebrated the move with a dinner party¬†with drinks and dessert on the roof. it was amazing!!! The views from the building’s roof top patio were breathtaking and reminded me of what a beautiful city this is. So often¬†here in¬†the city¬†we live our lives solely on street level forgetting all of the beauty that lies just above our heads. Thank you Kim for hosting such a fun night with friends old and new, and for letting us soak up the views!

                 


don’t worry we didn’t forget to say hello to NJ

thanks again for hosting such a fun dinner Kim!

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