Monday, December 29, 2008

Raise your hand if you are excited for Lisa and Beth to come to Seattle!

The picture I took of Travis with his raised hand didn't turn out, but rest assured, he is excited, too.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas pot roast

Travis and I surely had lots of food on Christmas Day. As I mentioned previously, we planned a day of food, starting with a big breakfast of raspberry waffles, thick sliced bacon, eggs and potatoes O'Brien. I made the waffles, and Travis made the other stuff. (While Travis can't really cook dinner foods, he has fried breakfast foods down.)

I took the picture after I had already eaten the eggs, so you won't get to see those. But here are the other items.

For Christmas dinner, I decided to make a pot roast. I added in potatoes, carrots, celery and onions - they were a good addition. I think pot roast might become a specialty of mine. The first picture is the roast before I put it in the oven, and the second picture is after I took it out and sliced it. It was delicious! We now have leftovers that we probably won't eat, but it was really really good. I'm glad I decided to go with pot roast rather than a traditional turkey or ham. I will be making ham for Easter when the family comes out, which I am REALLY looking forward to. I'm off to make a second attempt at popovers tonight, I'm going to try parmesan garlic popovers. Mmmmm.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Ninja versus the wreath

Lisa made delicious wreaths at the inaugural bakeoff at Mary's this year, and I was lucky enough to bring some home. Not only did I discover that Travis likes the wreaths when they don't have cinnamons on them (boo, less for me!), I also found out that Ninja appears to be wary of the green colored food. Here are a few pictures of her investigating, then attempting to beat the last wreath. Don't worry, no wreaths were harmed in the process of this photography. (And I personally removed the threat from Ninja by eating the last wreath.)



Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Pictures of the Great Unwrapping of 2008

Reader, beware: There will be many pictures in this post, possibly too many for you to really care about...but I wanted to document the gift opening because we couldn't be with our normal audience. If you want to see them bigger, I think you can click on them and get a full sized image. As I mentioned earlier, Travis and I decided to open Christmas gifts tonight. (Sadly, I couldn't go sing at Mass because of the stupid weather. The weather that is so bad out here would be easy to deal with in Minnesota, but Washington just is not prepared to deal with any of this. Bah.)

We didn't put up a tree this year, just wasn't enough time to make it a priority, but I did still break out a few Christmas necessities, like the stockings you see here on our mantle. I also "artfully" arranged our gift piles underneath the stockings. Mine is on the right side, Travis' is on the left.

Travis got me some bubble baths:

Travis is excited to open gifts...though he did ask me why I got him an envelope (right, like I wouldn't put something in it!)

We took turns. I opened up this box next, it had some awesome goodies. The Anne of Green Gables DVD set (my VHS tapes are really old) and a piano playbook for the musical Wicked, which I played a little on the piano after we were done.

Next Travis opened up the gift from my parents that I probably wrapped the nicest (I had some ribbon, wanted to use it):

Next I opened some shoes from Mom and Dad.

Then Travis opened up Stepbrothers.

We both got money from Grandma and Grandpa Hilton and Aunt Sandy and Uncle Terry, so I decided that I would spend that cash and get a couple of video games for me. :) I was able to get both Guitar Hero: Aerosmith AND Rock Band 2! (Lisa and Beth, get ready to play a little of these when you are here. I haven't played since I moved to Seattle...seriously.)

I will admit that we didn't take pictures of us opening every single gift (though you might think so as I have shown a blow by blow thus far), but we did take quite a few.

I got some awesome long sleeved Ts from Lisa and Beth, and let me tell you, Gap is serious about gift wrap. It took me a little while to figure out how to tear into it - it was sort of a heavy duty plastic overwrap, but it looked way cool.

Travis got several CDs by his favorite band from Lisa and Beth.

Travis' big gift from my parents was this really neat naval painting the German ship Bismarck in Hamburg port. He really really likes it, and it looks way better in person than it did online!

We got all sorts of great stuff again this year - we'd both like to say thank you to everyone for the wonderful gifts. We really appreciate them.

Do you feel like you've gotten a good grasp of opening gifts with the Hensches? It's not like being here. We definitely miss everyone in the family, and we are missing our Minnesota Christmas traditions. We are trying to start new ones here, beginning with the waffle breakfast and pot roast dinner tomorrow night.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!!


Merry Christmas!

Well, I've made it to Christmas Eve, and I haven't let Travis open gifts yet. I have broken down...we will open them tonight, but at least I made it past December 15th this year!!

I made linguine alfredo for dinner tonight, and tried to make popovers. The popovers were pretty close to how we want them, but we have plans to try a little different recipe tomorrow night to go with our Christmas pot roast.

Merry Christmas, everyone! I miss you all.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

I'm in Minnesota!

Wahoo, I finally made it to Minnesota! After two missed flights due to weather, and anger at several cab companies, I have defeated Seattle and made it to Minnesota.

Merry Christmas, Mom and Dad! :)

So there.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas cheer

Well, it's only 15 days to Christmas, and I can't say that I have really felt the holiday spirit as much this year as I have in years' past.

I have a few hypotheses on what the reasons are for this lack of holiday spirit:
  • Captain Obvious says: I am in a new place, and not really settled into the area or a home. We don't have a Christmas tree up because we are moving two weeks before Christmas...and all of our holiday decorations are in storage.
  • Seattle weather: The temperatures here are sort of throwing me off. I am not complaining about missing below zero windchills and lots of snow (or am I?), but it is disconcerting that the daytime temp has hovered around 45-50 degrees and the nighttime temp is around 35-40 degrees. I wear my "transitional" winter coat here...if I come back to MN any time soon, I think I might be in for a rude awakening!
  • We haven't really met a lot of people here, so we haven't been going to any Christmas parties or events.
  • No annual Hensch Holiday Bash :( When we move back to Minnesota, we are DEFINITELY reinstating that. The 6th annual Hensch Holiday Bash might be held in 2013, but we'll just asterisk the 6th and say we missed 5 years or something.
  • Lack of presents, for a few reasons: until we move to Kent, we don't have a mailing address; buying stuff online means I have to ship it to my work and carry it home on the bus (Trav's Blu-ray player is sitting at work now because I don't want to just carry it on the bus); Travis can't buy me anything online because he has nowhere to send it; we are trying to conserve cash to close on our house; etc ad nauseum

That's probably enough reasons. At least we will be in the house this week, and we are going to make a point to go look at Christmas lights around town soon and visit the cool display of holiday cheer that I spotted downtown last week. Plus I have a great plan for Christmas Day, seeing if we can start a new tradition: sleep in (I am singing at Midnight Mass the night before), call Mom and Dad's to wish the family a Merry Christmas and have them play me some John Denver, make a delicious breakfast of my blueberry waffles, pepper bacon, potatoes O'Brien and scrambled eggs (sunny side up eggs for Travis), then open presents and set up the new electronic equipment, watch a movie (hopefully Dark Knight) and then have a pot roast dinner (made in the Crock-Pot). Seems like a solid plan to me - what do you think? Want to come over? :)

I think this Christmas will just be very different from what we are used to, so I think it could be tough. I guess we will learn from this year what things we want to keep for next year, and what stuff we have to add in (like a tree!)


Moving day is almost here - the King returns

I'm not sure words can adequately describe how excited Travis and I are to get our own bed back. The bed and a functional kitchen are pretty much the two most awesome things that will be ours by Thursday evening, and boy, we are thrilled. (Make what you will of the combination of things that make us most happy. Ha.)

Growing up, I never really considered the concept of a king sized bed. It just wasn't something that really crossed my mind. My parents had a queen sized bed, and I just assumed that the queen sized bed would be perfect for me and my future partner. Wow, was I ever wrong! In October of 2007, we decided we would get a new mattress. We just weren't agreeing if "his" queen mattress was better than "my" queen mattress. (For the record, we slept on mine, as I couldn't stand the pillow topped mushiness of his bed. However, poor Travis was stuck on a mattress that was much too firm for him.) Enter a marriage tool named "Compromise."

You might be surprised to know that we bought a mattress from, and we had not gone and tested out any mattresses prior to purchase. (Yes, I work on the internet, I'm pretty much willing to buy most things there. Maybe not a car. But most things.) An untested mattress might seem to be a crazy thing, but I think it was actually good for us - we had no preconceived notions about the mattress and weren't able to have that knee-jerk reaction you often have in furniture stores of "I hate it" or "This is great" and then argue about them. A three minute test in a store doesn't really tell you a lot anyway. We also had an extra 10% at Target (added to our employee discount, for a total of 19% off...), and so we picked the retailer before the mattress.

After I did much research at Target, and ran all sorts of comparisons to other brands, prices, etc, we decided to purchase a king sized (!) Plush mattress. Plush is smack dab between Firm and Pillowtop, and seemed like a good option. I bought all sorts of blankets and duvets and sheets to prepare us for this king sized monstrosity. In the middle of October, the mattress was delivered and set up for us. After a few nights of getting used to it (it's huge! it's softer than our old bed! it's firmer than the other old bed!), we fell in love with it. The size is more fighting for our halves of the bed, there is plenty of room to share.

Anyways, that's a lot of unnecessary information about how the king-sized mattress came to be ours, but suffice to say, WE WANT IT BACK. We've spent the past three months split between a crappy full sized (yikes) bed that sagged heavily in the middle and a nicer queen sized pillowtop bed that simply cannot keep sheets on it (the sheets deny the laws of nature and elastic, and pull off the bed while we sleep, annoying). Beginning Thursday, December 11, 2008, we will once again be sleeping like kings on OUR mattress.


Oh, and I've already talked about why I need my kitchen back. One must have the right tools in order to cook, and I have missed mine.

Looking forward to Thursday!!


Friday, December 5, 2008

I think we have a house!!

Good news! Travis and I are moving into our house in Kent, and we should close by the end of the month. (I know, moving in before it's closed, but we are taking a calculated risk based on the current landscape, and all signs are favorable for us, so we're doing it.) I am putting some pictures of the house below for your enjoyment, and you can picture me sitting in the rooms.

Front of the house - look how nice the landscaping is. Three car garage to fit three quarters of our vehicles.
Back patio - isn't this beautiful? Travis is going to install a fire pit off the side (off the right of the picture, it will be great)
Master bedroom. It's nice and spacious. We'll need to get black out shades and a ceiling fan and we are set to go.
A view of the kitchen from the living room. Who has two thumbs and is super excited to have her kitchen back? ME!
View of the kitchen from the breakfast nook. It's pretty.
View of the family room from the kitchen - isn't that stonework around the fireplace nice?
I hope you enjoy the pictures - we're moving on Thursday, which means we will be "home" for Christmas! Yay!