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Showing posts from 2016

Books of 2016

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Ahh, if only there were more time to read all the books I want to read!  2016 was another successful year of completing my "Reading Challenge."  This year I surpassed my goal and finished 54 print or electronic books (including 2 short stories) and 43 Audiobooks, allowing me to explore a wide range of fiction, nonfiction, classics, humor, mysteries, sci fi, autobiographies, as well as several maternity and motherhood books as we welcomed our baby girl!  I listened to a lot of audiobook memoirs by present-day comedians and entertainers (Amy Poehler, Sara Bareilles, Amy Schumer, Chelsea Handler, David Sedaris, etc.), explored some new authors and ones local to New Mexico, read a selection from Emma Watson's feminist book club, and also reaffirmed that historical fiction is my favorite genre (especially when there's a good plot).  I didn't like all of the books I read this year, which is okay too, but most of them were great.  My "Thursday Night Wine/Book Club&…

Christmas Eve in Santa Fe

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'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Three creatures were stirring, and keeping out the mouse.
The stockings were hung and the tree was still intact;
If St. Nicholas comes hopefully the dog won't attack.

The cat was nestled snug in one of her many beds,
As visions of catnip danced in her small head.
With a dog on my legs and a baby in my lap,
I can say goodbye to any chance of a long winter's nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a noise,
But the lazy dog didn't even bark, as she was playing with her new toys.
I took a quick glance out the back window,
As I wandered to the kitchen to open another bottle of Pinot.

The adobe rooftops were lined with luminarias and farolitos,
While children, warm inside, enjoyed hot chocolate and biscochitos.
The smell of PiƱon from the fireplaces filled the winter air,
While bellies were full of enchiladas and New Mexican fare. 

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Awakened the coyotes in the arroyo.
They howled into …

Borrego Bear Wallows

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"The winter solstice has always been special to me as a barren darkness that gives birth to a verdant future beyond imagination, a time of pain and withdrawal that produces something joyfully inconceivable, like a monarch butterfly masterfully extracting itself from the confines of its cocoon, bursting forth into unexpected glory."  -Gary Zukav
Today is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year and the official start of winter.  It's a day that often gets overlooked in the hustle and bustle of preparing for Christmas and planning New Year's Eve celebrations, and it's easy to forget this day when it feels like winter started weeks ago.  But it's also a day that can hold deep meaning and significance.  The Winter Solstice is a time for renewal, contemplation, and nourishment.  It's a time to turn inward and to reflect.  It offers an opportunity for creativity and imagination.  It's a time to give thanks and celebrate friendships.  This year more …

Holiday Baking

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'Tis the season for shopping, caroling, mittens and boots, curling up with warm drinks, winter walks in the fresh snow, and of course baking yummy dishes to share!  We had a heat wave in Santa Fe last week that made it really hard to get into the Christmas spirit, but this weekend we finally got a fresh dusting of snow and it's feeling more like winter.  (Thankfully the temperature is still in the teens and 20s, not 25 below zero like it is back home in Minnesota!  Yikes!)

I'm about halfway through my maternity leave with Baby Adyson, and while I am loving every minute of it sometimes it's impossible to find more than 30 minutes of waking time with two free hands in a day.  I'm so thankful for my crockpot, Keurig machine, and stand mixer, not to mention our generous friends who have brought us homemade meals twice a week since Ady was born.  I don't know what we would do without such amazing people in our lives!

Although I'm obsessed with holiday baking, I ha…

Thankfulness

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Happy Thanksgiving!  This is baby Adyson's first holiday and Jaycob and I have so much to be grateful for this year. We have a beautiful home, food to eat, wonderful friends in Santa Fe, and supportive families across the miles. I am thankful for the mountains and trees and Northern New Mexico sunsets. We are blessed with good jobs that support our professional growth and upcoming promotions that will help us out financially. I gained an incredible sister this year when my brother married Audrey over Labor Day weekend, and I will have a new brother when my sister and Nick tie the knot in 6 months. Jaycob and I have a stable relationship, loving pets, and now a beautiful and healthy daughter. Ady is such a wonderful baby and has brought so much joy to our family! We are so in love with her little facial expressions and baby noises, and I am grateful for the time I have with her at home before I have to return to work in a few weeks.
I have always known that motherhood was i…

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

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Happy Halloween!  It has been unseasonably warm this month in Santa Fe, and in the absence of cuddly sweaters and hot seasonal drinks I'm struggling to feel completely absorbed in the fall season, but the evenings are starting to get chilly and there is definitely a crispness to the air.  I'm down to (probably) my last full week at work before Baby makes her debut!  Tonight we're staying in and cheering on the Vikings while handing out candy to the neighborhood Trick-or-Treaters.

I made these cupcakes last week to share with my coworkers and celebrate my most recent student's successful completion of her clinical rotation.  (While I hate saying goodbye to our really excellent students, I love an excuse to bake!)  They were so good I had to make another batch for the hubby to take to work today.  With pumpkin puree and milk, these cupcakes are soft, creamy, and comforting for fall.  The cinnamon cream cheese frosting is flavorful and spicy, and I had fun dressing these u…

Nesting

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We are just 9 days away from Baby's due date!  She is considered to be full term now and we pray that she will be healthy whenever she decides to make her debut.  She is still moving around a lot and her little legs are getting strong.  We are reading her books at night.  I envisioned a relaxed and pampered third trimester, but the reality has been quite the opposite!  There's so much to do and my project list is never-ending, but I have really enjoyed preparing the nursery and getting ready for Baby's arrival.  I painted Baby's room a few weeks ago ("Sand Swept" yellow) and we assembled her furniture.  Her books and clothes are organized and the changing table is stocked with itty bitty diapers.  I finished crocheting her little afghan to keep her warm on the way home from the hospital.  My hospital bag is packed, I stocked up on batteries and household items, the car seat is installed, and I have some home-cooked meals in the freezer for later (Enchilada Pa…