Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A long winter's night

For those of you experiencing the dreary Seattle winter (yes, I think the sun is officially gone), or even folks looking for a new way to spend a weeknight at home, we have come up with the ultimate game tournament! While Tim could be content playing endless rounds of Backgammon or Rummy, I get bored after a few games/hands, so I came up with a little tournament that kept us busy for a couple of hours on Sunday night:

Round 1: Rummy

Deal each player 7 cards, and play until one player reaches 200 points instead of the regular 500. Players record the point value they receive at the end of the game as their first score.

Round 2: Backgammon

Play three games. Each game is worth 100 points to the winner, 0 to the loser. No doubling allowed. At the end of the three games, total each player's scores and add to the scores from Rummy.

Round 3: Scrabble

Play normally, until all letter pieces are drawn and there are no more possible moves. Add each player's final point value to the previous two for the final score.

Just to cite for the record, though I am normally a sub-par game player (even at Scrabble; my English degree is no advantage!), I won!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas in Ithaca!

Well, we made it there and back again, and we had a great time spending the Christmas holiday with all the Upstate NY Psiakis. Getting there took a long time, as flight prices made it much cheaper to fly into JFK, and we rented a car for the 4+ hour drive from Long Island upstate. We got in at a solid 4:21 am, and Tim rustled me out of bed a few hours later so we wouldn't "miss anything." We had a pretty good laugh with Tim's mom over the course of the week about the bed we had--a so-called 3/4 bed, found in a generous neighbor's old barn, that measures somewhere between a twin and a double. It was quite cozy, and even being a smaller bed, it took up almost the whole cupola! (the tiny upstairs room that juts up from the house like a little cube)

Amid sledding, the annual Psiaki Caroling Party (in very cold, snowy weather, followed by lots of hot cider and tasty treats), good times with friends, and our very first meeting with our dear friends Matt and Jenny's precious daughter Cara (see pics below), it was a joyous holiday. I hope you all had a Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Seattle Snow Storm

They've been saying it's coming...and it finally did! When I woke up at 6:30 this morning I didn't even look out the window until about an hour later, and there was a bunch of snow on the ground...probably about 4 inches. It's been snowing big fat flakes almost steadily since then, and Tim didn't go into work. There is almost no ploughing or salting here, so the roads are pretty terrible (not like this past Sunday, when there was about a centimeter of snow on the bushes, none on the road, and hardly anybody showed up to church). We did head out this afternoon after a fun day of doing Christmas stuff inside, and mailed a couple of things at the post office. Most stores are closed, and we're a bit worried about getting to the airport tomorrow. Luckily we have plenty of time before our flight, so we can take it slow and steady. The highways should be fine by then. Happy snow day!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The most wonderful time of the year

I'm sorry I haven't been very regular with blogging lately. It's that time of year when I'd rather get up and do a lot of things--Christmas shopping, baking, little home-improvement projects--than sit in front of my computer. We've been enjoying the holidays lately with some fun time with friends and a great visit to my parents' in Indianapolis. Tim hadn't seen their new house before, so that was fun, and my brother Logan and his wife Tiffany were able to spend Thanksgiving with us. Not only that, but we were also able to drive to Cincinnati to see my Grandma and our friends Jacki and Drew Collins, who were in town to visit her family. It was a great week of fun food and relaxation, minus the various hiccups in travel, which I've now gotten over so I won't repeat them here (just know that it was bad, involving a missed flight, in-flight sickness, and way too many hours of traveling!). Ah, the holidays.

Here's a few pictures of our Friday-after-Thanksgiving festivities, the famed Indianapolis Duckpin Bowling. Unfortunately they're from my phone, so they're not that good. I'd never heard of it before, but it was fun! The pins are much smaller, as is the ball, and there are no finger holes. The lane is about the same dimensions as in normal bowling, but it was much harder, because the pins are so short they don't achieve a domino effect very easily. I'm happy to say I didn't get last place (that was, uh, my dear husband), and all the spoils went to my Mom!

In other news, we learned of the engagement of Tim's sister Jane to her boyfriend James, in a whirlwind trip to Korea where they first met, and also the engagement of our friends Dan and Becca. We're hoping Becca finds a good job out here so they'll be enticed to stay instead of moving back to the East Coast! So now, counting the upcoming marriage of two of Tim's crew friends, we'll have 3 weddings to attend next year, as opposed to the 1 we went to this year. It sure is relaxing to go to somebody else's wedding and already be married, and therefore not have to worry about a thing. On that note, the other day I realized that this year we've spent all 12 months married! I know that's obvious, since our wedding was last summer, but it's fun to think about.

A quick knee update: the combo of PT exercises, a little tape, and the shoe inserts I have is making my knee traction nearly perfect as I walk and run! I had a follow-up appt with my gait analyst last week and she is very pleased. She even said my right knee looks a little better than the left now! (Please don't let me go through this with the other side, Lord!). So I am spending more time on the treadmill and that is very exciting. I am now very close to hoping that I can leave all these knee problems behind me in 2008. In 2009 I will turn over a new leaf!

I am also enjoying my bike more and more, despite the occasional mortifying moments at a stoplight when I'm behind a line of cars and I can't get going fast enough when the light turns green. Sometimes I pull over to the side and pretend to check the chain until the cars behind me have gone... Oh well. I'll be the first to admit I'm an amateur. I've found a really beautiful 9.3 mile ride that I love, and in the afternoon when it's clear the light from the setting sun shines through the trees and over the waters of Lake Washington. I wish I could take pictures of what I see when I'm on my ride. Maybe there is some kind of helmet-camera I can use.

Here are our bikes, nestled up together in the bathroom!

Last weekend we got our tree! We went to the same place as last year, and this time got a Grand Fir. I wasn't sure about the needles because they lay flat instead of sticking out in all directions, so it has a different look, but it's nice and big and it smells great! We're going to have to figure out a way to keep it watered when we're visiting Tim's family in Ithaca for Christmas. For now I'm enjoying that and our newly decorated apartment! The last one is of the curtain we made this weekend to add a "door" to our bedroom. It reaches floor to ceiling!