So, it appears I have been slacking at this, so I figured I better get caught up on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.  Hopefully I will be better at this in 2012!

Thanksgiving, in Two Parts –

I didn’t make the trip home to Iowa for Thanksgiving, however my mom came to visit me the week before.  While she was in town we covered a lot of ground.  We visited the venue where the wedding will be held, we shopped for my wedding dress, she was such a trooper, and she cooked a huge Thanksgiving feast for Sarah and I and some of our friends!

The trip to the wedding venue is about a forty minute drive from Denver into the foothills of the mountains.  I always love being able to drive visitors to the mountains, the views are just spectacular.  Once in Evergreen we checked out the venue and headed to lunch at Da Kind Soups.   I think I have blogged about this place before, but I will say it again….check this place out!  Sarah and I love soups and dream of places like this, at least twelve homemade soups are served up daily, and you can sample as many as you want!

We visited three different bridal shops in search of the perfect dress.  At two of the shops I had picked out the same dress, not even knowing it, so I figured at that point it was the one!  I’m very excited!

I would love to post a picture of the wedding venue/dress, but you have to leave some stuff up for surprise!

This is the second year in a row that my mom has been visiting the week before Thanksgiving.  Neither trip has been intentional, but I kind of like this new tradition because I keep getting amazing Thanksgiving dinners!  We had the works!  Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, stuffing, rolls, apple crisp and pecan pie!  It was delicious.

Thanksgiving Feast!

After mom headed back to Iowa, I worked a couple of days and then we packed the car and headed to Telluride for another Thanksgiving.  This Thanksgiving was quite untraditional, but I loved every minute of it!  First we headed to our friend Michelle’s house in Ridgeway, which is about thirty minutes outside of Telluride.  Michelle is a hair dresser and comes to cut clients hair in Denver every couple of month’s.  Her and her son Yassir usually stays with us, so it was such a treat to go visit her, her husband, Yassir and their 8 day old baby Luna!  I’m typically frightened of newborns, but there was something so peaceful about little Luna, I just wanted to hold that little nugget the entire time we were visiting!  Being at Michelle’s was so relaxing, we cooked and watched TV, played with the kids, and got to sleep in a lot!  Michelle and her husband opened up a restaurant in Ridgeway that we finally got to visit.  Land and Ocean!  If you are ever in the area you should stop in for some really good Costa Rican food and fresh juices, oh yeah and don’t miss the chocolate cake, it’s to die for!  Another bonus is that Orvis hot springs is only about a three minute drive from Michelle’s house, so we got to do some soaking in the hot springs as well!

Yassir and baby Luna!

Thanksgiving day we headed to Telluride!  We were staying in Mountain Lodge for the night and were planning on strolling town and a possible hike during the day, Thai food for our Thanksgiving dinner and some local bars for the evening!  Town was pretty quiet, a few skiers here and there, a few shoppers here and there but that was about it.  It was kind of nice, I just wished we could have gotten a cup of coffee!

First we stopped in at Baked in Telluride.  I had heard so much about this establishment, however it had burned down before I ever got the chance to try it out.  Thankfully for me, it re-opened.  We snacked on a bagel and hopped back in the car.  We took a drive down to Bridal Veil Falls, which in the summer is a beautiful waterfall at the end of town.  Even frozen and snow covered it was beautiful.

Bridal Veil Falls

After checking out the falls we decided to skip on the hike and head to the hotel to relax and get ready for the evening.  Much to our surprise, we were pretty bummed, but Siam, the Thai place, was closed for an employee party!  So, back to Baked in Telluride we went, for pizza, soup and sandwiches!  We spent a couple of hours with an old friend of Sarah’s then headed out to the bar in the New Sheridan Hotel.  It is such a cool place.  We sat in front of a roaring fire, consuming far too many drinks, chit chatting it up with friends of Sarah’s.

Sar and I! Happy Thanksgiving!

We hit up a couple of other bars, missed the gondola ride home, hitched a ride with some folks, and went to bed!  Needless to say, the day after Thanksgiving, I was not feeling so hot, so our attempt to shop in town wasn’t too successful.  We grabbed some food and headed back to Michelle’s.  After a much needed nap and some grub we decided to take a little trip to Ouray.  Ouray is a tiny little town know for it’s ice climbing, it’s actually the ice climbing capital of the world.  We window shopped, stopped in the local brewery for the cutest growler on the planet, and hit up an ice cream shop, holy yumminess, then headed back to Ridgeway.

Ouray, Colorado

The next day we headed back to Denver.  I can’t say it enough, and I hope it never gets old, but the drives in this state are something like I have never experienced!  I feel so lucky to have all of this only a short drive away!

Christmas Season –

This year the christmas season seemed to start very early, however it still felt like it went way too fast!  It seemed as though I was just putting the decorations up as I started to take them down.  Sarah and I feel our house was made for Christmas, it just has that feel about it.  After Thanksgiving we immediately put up the tree, strung the lights, hung the wreath and the stockings!

We got a tree!

Lights were strung, and Zeek helped too!

Stockings were hung by the fire!

Mid December we hosted a christmas party!  We had lots of snacks and Thoma traditional Christmas cookies to share!  It was a blast.

Grandma's Sugar Cookies!

Love the sweater Chop!

Thanks for the ornament Fez's

A few weeks after the party it was time to pack up the car, the presents and Zeek and make the annual trek to Iowa.  We spent five days with my friends and family in good ole Durant, IA.  The first night in town a lot of people I went to high school with were getting together at the local watering hole, The Dew Drop Inn.  Sarah convinced me to go, I convinced some folks to go, and it ended up being a really fun night.

I miss you Hess!

Christmas was spent at my Aunt’s house in Illinois during the day and at my parent’s house in the evening.  My Dad’s side of the family all came over to my parent’s and we enjoyed snacks and soups and way too much Rumplemintz!  It is a family tradition to toast shots of Rumplemintz in chocolate shot glasses to the year’s accomplishments, weddings, babies, graduations etc!  The chocolate shot glasses are always hard to come by and even harder to come by when you are looking for them on Christmas Eve as Sarah and I found ourselves. Luckily after about four different stores, racing against the clock before they closed we found two boxes!  Another tradition is donning my Grandmother’s Christmas sweater she would wear every year.

My Dad, Uncle Jeff, Uncle Mike and I gathered around the "tree"

One of my favorite parts of visiting is getting to spend time with my nephew Brady.  He had a mountain of presents to open this year due to Grandma and Aunt Liz spoiling him.

Winston helping Brady open gifts

Enjoying the box more than most of his presents!

Seemed like we had just gotten to Iowa and it was time to head back home again, not without a stop in Des Moines to see some friends though.  We stayed with a couple of friends and visited Fong’s pizza for crab Rangoon pizza and green bean casserole pizza!  Such a fun place!

Green Bean Casserole Pizza!

We also hit up Trader Joe’s to stock up on all our favorites before hitting the road!

New Year’s Eve – Tabernash, CO

New Year’s Eve was spent at a friends mountain house in Tabernash, which is right outside of Winter Park.  There was a group of seven of us and we all had a great time.  In a nutshell we ate, drank, sat by the beautiful fire and played lots of games!  Even though I was sick and drinking tea most of the night it was still so much fun and such a great group of people and doggies.

Happy New Year, love Liz & Zeek!

Playing Cards!

Cheers to 2012!

2011 wrapped up quite nicely and I am very much looking forward to 2012, there is a lot in store for me!

This weekend we are heading up to Fort Collins for a friends birthday/brewery tour!  Should be fun, I’ll do my best to keep you updated!