The Adventure Starts Here: 2010

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy Birthday Chris!

Chris turned 33 on December 30th... so Thursday was his day! Every time he asked if we could do something, my answer would be, "well of course, it is your day". Well Chris loved this and ended up having a great day. I made him some scrambled eggs for breakfast, we went to the mall and had some California Pizza Kitchen for lunch, we did a little shopping, and came home and relaxed a bit. But the real fun was at night when we met his friends at Chili's for dinner and then headed across the street for some bowling. Our luck... it was $1 games that night! We ended up having to wait for leagues to end and started bowling later than we thought, but it was a really fun night! I started off horribly at bowling and for the first game actually gave up. But thankfully Aimee wouldn't give up on me and she gave me some pointers. I'm not gonna say I was a pro at the end but at least I was hitting some pins down! Can I just say though that Chris' friends are some really good bowlers! I'm used to going with people that have good and bad games depending on the day, but they put me to shame! HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRIS!



Chris got a Turkey... I guess this is him trying to make an X lol.


Look at that form... Chris is great at taking the action shots!


I'm so happy I got a spare! The little things make me happy :)

The Rangers Win!

For Chris' birthday (yes it does really stink to have to think of two gifts for him within 5 days of each other!) I got him tickets to see the Rangers play the Devils in Newark. We once again decided to drive, since we found out there was no direct train to Newark Penn Station from Morristown. The drive was easy though and we got to park 2 minutes from the arena... so we were thrilled with our decision. The seats were decent, but when we had a tall guy sitting in front of us that leaned forward making it impossible to see any action in the middle of the ice, we were very glad that we could move our seats up. One of Chris' friends had 3rd row seats right behind the goalie. After the first period he said that there were some empty seats, so he was able to get us down there with his brothers' tickets. So for the next 2 periods we sat 6th row (and we were able to spot ourselves on TV the next day... can't prove it, but we know it was us!). There was a great fight at our goal, so that was super cool. I've never seen a hockey fight that close up and heard how loud they really hit the glass! The Rangers ended up winning 3-1... so it was a great night!



I Want to Rock....

So Monday, despite the crazy amount of snow, Chris and I ventured into NYC to see Rock of Ages. Originally we wanted to head in for lunch, go to this place called Eataly that Chris had heard of. It's by Mario Batali and apparently it's a grocery store with a bunch of restaurants that's all italian. Then we wanted to go to the Tommy Store, the tree, and to Bryant park to possibly go ice skating. But when the snow hit and the winds came, we decided to ammend those plans and just do Tommy, the tree, dinner and the show. We were tempted to just take the train in fear of the roads, but we decided to be brave so that we didn't have to wait in Penn Station late at night for the next train to arrive. Well... 78 was horrible! I don't even know if a plow came! As we were driving in the horrible snow in my little 2 door Honda Civic, we were thinking, let's go to Secaucus and take the train from there. Fortunately once we got on the turnpike the roads were clear and great, so we continued onto NYC in the car like planned. NYC wasn't great, but definitely doable. Later we were very glad we drove when we heard that our trains had stopped running. We would have had to walk to Port Authority instead, take the Path to Hoboken, and then a train home from there.... it would have been a disaster.

So we got to NYC around 3/3:30, parked the car near the theater, bundled up, and started walking over to the Tommy Store. It was freezing and I couldn't have been happier when we finally got to the store. There were some amazing deals and then his discount on top of it... I got three tops :) We then hit the tree and got our annual picture in front of it.




It was only 5 at this point and I had enough of the cold. But since our reservation wasn't until 6, we decided to stop at a place nearby for a drink and appetizer. It was right next door to the restaurant, so from 5 o'clock on I just continued walking down the one street, each place right next to each other :)


Dinner was great... had some great Caprese, Pasta, and Berries with cream for dessert! Then we headed next door to Rock of Ages. We saw it in August 2009, and Chris loved it so much that after asking him numerous times what he wanted for Christmas he finally caved and told me he wanted to see Rock of Ages again. He was all excited that Dee Snider (from Twisted Sister) was gonna be in it, but of course his last show was on the 23rd... missed him by just a few days :( The show was great (though the original cast was better) and we were glad that we risked the snow to come in. Merry Christmas Chris!


Snow and Birthdays

This year for Chris and his dad's birthdays I decided to arrange a little party/get together for the Flinn family. Originally we were supposed to do it on Tuesday the 28th, but then the big Flinn cousins party was scheduled for that night, so we moved it to Sunday the 26th. The snow almost cancelled it, but fortunately we were able to still have it... just earlier in the day and just with Chris' parents (Justin couldn't come down with the snow). I would love to do an actual dinner party at the apartment, but we just don't have the room (or a real dining table), so instead I did appetizer type stuff, then we headed over to a restaurant across the street, then came back for gifts and cake. It turned out to be a lot of fun though very different from the original plans. Fortunately his parents were able to leave our apartment before the snow got too heavy :)



The appetizer display... we used Chris' new Penn State platter :)


The first birthday cake I've made... Red Velvet (per Chris' request)


The birthday boys blowing out their candles



Christmas 2010 - Part II

For real Christmas this year, we split it up between the Freels and the Flinns. Chris and I started our "winter vacation" on Christmas Eve and we are off until January 3rd... YAY!!! Christmas Eve we headed over to the Flinn house for lunch and cookie baking. I got to see the tradition in action of making the Christmas knots... it was hilarious to see Chris get his hands stuck in the very sticky batter. I wish I had a picture but since my hands were equally dirty, the camera was staying in my purse. That evening we headed over to the Freel house (love that they are only 15 minutes apart) for Christmas Eve dinner. This was Luke's last night in NJ (heading to Toronto Christmas night) so it was me and Chris, my parents, and Luke for dinner. Dinner was great and then we made Chris watch Elmo's Christmas Countdown (our new little tradition) and the Grinch (the Jim Carey version). After some present opening, we figured the night was complete and headed back to Morristown where my head hit the pillow hard!




The Christmas Eve dinner feast :)

Christmas morning Chris and I exchanged our gifts on our own at the apartment. We had our little tree, and a few gifts to exchange. Chris and I were so concerned about getting something the other person really wanted, that our largest gift turned out to not be a surprise. When we realized that what we love about Christmas is surprising the other person, we decided to set a price limit and get each other 3-4 smaller gifts that had to be complete surprises. Some of Chris' gifts included some headphones so he can watch TV after I've gone to be (I'm a grandma with how early I go to bed... I've actually taken on the nickname of Grandma Freel!) and a Penn State platter for entertaining. Chris surprised me with a gift certificate so we can go take a cooking class... I'm so excited for this! Our big gifts (that we knew about) was a gorgeous Tiffany necklace to match the earring he gave me for the Wedding and tickets to see Rock of Ages again (that's what happens when you marry a guy who grew up in the 80s lol).





After opening our gifts we headed back over to the Flinn house for all the usual Christmas celebrations. Justin made the fire... the yule log on TV just wasn't cutting it for him. Justin acted as Santa (as I learned he is every year) and passed out all the gifts to everyone. We had blueberry pancakes and then waited for the rest of the guests to arrive. Chris' Aunt Doreen came over with her boyfriend Paulie and then the Flinn's friend Joanne came over. We had a nice relaxed Christmas... I even got a short nap :) Dinner was great... I'm learning that Italian Christmas dinners are different than my family's. My family basically does a second Thanksgiving for Christmas (which I love!), but I learned that Italians are more into Chicken, Fish, and Pasta... all of which are very yummy! I love learning the traditions of different families... now to decide which ones I will pass on with our future family :)


Justin's fire... so proud!

Justin and Paulie... they became best friends :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Festivus 2010

When Chris was living in Waldwick with Kelly and Aimee, they started a tradition of going out for Christmas dinner and then exchanging gifts. As the group grew with boyfriends and girlfriends that became husbands and wives, and new roommates and friends, the tradition grew into a yearly party called Festivus! So every year we get together, do a secret Santa, and enjoy each other's company over some great food. Chris and I were only able to go to half the party because we also had another Christmas party that evening, but we were so happy that we could go for a little bit. Kelly and Allan hosted a great party this year... thanks for the great evening!





Christmas 2010 - Part 1

Christmas came early for the Freel family this year. David, Trisha, and the kids will be spending Christmas in Florida with the Tolberts this year, so we celebrated with them this past weekend. We did a mini Christmas Eve with Kaitlyn on Friday night and baked cookies to leave for Santa. Saturday morning we opened exchanged gifts with them and Santa brought presents for Kaitlyn and Matthew. The weekend was a blast but very tiring! I had a bad cold, but was fighting it with Dayquil and Nyquil so that I could enjoy my time with my niece and nephew! Sunday we went to church with the family and were able to get a family picture with EVERYONE in it! We did get a real family picture at our wedding, but Matthew wasn't born then. So we needed an updated one, and since Luke is rarely home, we had to take this opportunity! I'm so thankful for timers on cameras!



Kaitlyn decorating cookies with Grandma... she loved piling on the sprinkles!



The cookies and milk for Santa and a carrot for the reindeer


Luke met Matthew for the first time this weekend :)


Santa and Grandma went a little overboard this year :)



Chris and I got Kait a doctor dress up costume... I was her patient and she was writing me a prescription

The before shot... getting in our places for the timed picture


The Freel Family - Christmas 2010
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Holiday Party and Wedding Weekend!

Last weekend Chris and I had two nights of dressing up... my work holiday party and our friends Elena and Brian's Wedding. It was a busy weekend but a ton of fun. Friday night was the holiday party and we met up with my friends Ashley and Jaeger before heading over to the country club.


Saturday we did a little shopping during the day and then headed over to the Berkeley Plaza for the wedding. The wedding was amazing and Elena was gorgeous! Even though Chris and I didn't know many of the other guests, we had a blast! One of the best parts was the photo booth they had! We went back many times and loved that we got to take all the pictures home!


every winter I get a dress with the Uggs shot

We did this for Trisha!

representing Penn State!

We had a blast!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving

Once again my parents, Chris, and I headed up to Rhode Island. We went this past weekend for Thanksgiving and had a blast! Thursday morning David held a game of flag football. Chris also played, and I took Kaitlyn to watch and cheer them on. It was pretty cold out, so we bundled up. Kaitlyn even got out on the field and "played" a little. She really liked being part of the huddle :)





My mom captured Chris and me in our "natural habitat"

For Thanksgiving dinner we decided to go out instead of cooking. Since David and Trisha's place is getting a little tight with two kids now, it's hard to cook a massive dinner and for 6 adults and 2 kids to all sit around the table to eat. We went to Ruth's Chris (yes, I guess we do go there a lot!) and enjoyed a turkey dinner with out the stress of cooking and cleaning!




Kaitlyn, who skipped her nap that day was exhausted and fell asleep in the car on the way home from the restaurant. Since it was only 7pm, we let her sleep on me downstairs hoping she might wake up... we figured if she went to bed that early she wouldn't make it through the night and would be waking her parents up at an ungodly hour.


Friday Chris and I took Kaitlyn to see Tangled. It was her second time going to a movie at the theater, and she did great! She was such a good girl and sat on Chris' lap for about 75% of the movie. She spent the last part of it sitting on the step of the stadium seating.

Saturday we took Kaitlyn to go candlepin bowling. We thought she might have some fun, but never knew how much of a hit it would be. We got 2 lanes for the group of us and after she rolled the first ball, we knew that she'd be bowling by herself, and the rest of us on the other lane. She seemed to simply like throwing the ball down the lane and really couldn't care less how many pins she knocked down. Often she would even throw the second ball down the lane before the first ball knocked down any pins... it was like speed bowling! I can't believe how big she's getting and that we can finally take her to do a bunch of fun things when we come to visit now :)

Washington D.C.

Chris and I went to Washington D.C. two weekends ago. We went down for the Penn State game and decided to make a weekend out of it and do some touristy things. We had amazing seats at the game. We were in the 6th row... the best seats we'll ever have at a Penn State game since it's very difficult and expensive to get those kind of seats in State College!



That night we went exploring before dinner. We found this ugly elephant and since I love elephants, Chris made me take a picture with it :) We then headed to dinner at Ruth's Chris (I told you it was one of our favorite restaurants).


Sunday morning we decided to take a bus tour of the city since the weather was so nice! It took us all around the city and then we got off towards the end of the route so we could go to the Air and Space Museum... it was a lot of fun! We then packed up the car and decided to make a short stop at the White House. We tried to find some street parking nearby, which proved harder than we thought. It appears almost every parking garage is closed on Sundays, and every street spot was taken. When we had almost given up, we finally spotted someone leaving and grabbed the spot immediately.



We had a fantastic weekend and dreaded going back to the daily grind of work. Thank goodness it was only a 3 day week!


 
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