Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Merry Christmas! Love, the Romeneskos

My mom writes a Christmas letter (almost) every year to update our friends and family about the goings-on in our lives.  I didn't write a Christmas letter because it's only Peter and I and we're really boring.  But then I was driving to work the other morning and thinking about our year, and I was like, "Actually, we've had the best year ever!!"  So instead of getting a Christmas letter in the mail, you're getting a virtual one.  


Darling friends, family, and people of the world,

Our year began as a newly engaged couple who thought they had 17 months to plan their wedding.  We took a trip to Las Vegas for a long weekend with our friends Kim and Stew right away in January to get a break from the cold, snow-less Wisconsin weather.  Great trip overall: I lost money, but Peter won money so in the end I didn't care because in 17 months our finances would be one in the same.  

My first cash-out.  I think that I put in $1.00 and came back with $3.41.  So that's good!

Also in January, we entered a wedding contest with LAKE 961 out of Lake Geneva.  We were one of the three couples chosen to be voted upon to win.  Listen to our interviews here:

Radio interview part 1
Radio interview part 2

Please don't judge us; we were trying to be lovable.  But if you judge us, I don't care because we won.

February came and we had to sell ourselves at the Winterfest in Lake Geneva to get people to vote for us.  That was fun and embarrassing, just how I like it.

The day before Valentine's Day, we found out that we won the wedding!  And that we were getting married in April!  14 months earlier than we originally planned!  Listen to the phone call where I found out we won here:

Winning phone call

Again, please don't judge me.  I was very shocked and surprised and I still can't believe that we won.

February, March, and April were all a blur with appointments, breakdowns, stress and excitement as we, along with the LAKE 961 listeners, our families and friends planned our wedding.  Monday mornings were highly anticipated, as we got a new piece of our wedding puzzle at that time, along with the rest of the planners.  It was really exciting, but at times I was ready to rip my hair out!  But then I would think about how I wanted my hair to look nice for my wedding, so I wouldn't rip my hair out.

In the midst of the wedding planning, both of us got promotions at work, so that increased our excitement level.  A lot.  A ton, actually.  

At the end of April, Peter and I got married and are still in awe at how perfectly everything turned out for the wedding day.  It was so beautiful, and I love everyone for helping put together the perfect day, especially all of the people that had to deal directly with me because I was horrible.  God bless Peter for still wanting to marry me after all of that...

We honeymooned in St. Thomas, which was just what we needed after 10 stressful weeks.   Lots of margaritas, pina coladas, and sun were consumed.  It was great!

A month after the wedding, we decided to start looking at houses, and at the end of June found our dream house and put an offer in.  The offer was accepted and we went through the paperwork and moved at the end of August.  We both love our house SO much, and want to be in it all the time.  I promise that soon I will put up pictures of the house so that you can see it.  It really is great.

Fall flew by, I literally can't even remember what happened to September and October.  In November I took a 3 week trip to South Africa and Brazil for work.  I learned a lot, met a lot of great people, and got to see a lot of amazing things.  I love my job.

Now all of a sudden it's December and we are closing out the year as a young married couple, and we are so beyond blessed that it isn't even funny.  I'm still a little dizzy thinking about our incredible year.

It's actually awesome that 2012 was the best year ever because the world is supposed to end later this week, so it worked out for the best.

But seriously - thank you SO much for voting for us to win our wedding and not de-friending me because I was so obnoxious about self-promotion.  I was annoyed with MYSELF.  BUT.  Without that change of plans in February, the rest of the year wouldn't have happened at ALL like it did.  2012 will be a tough one to beat, but that's ok, because I think that we'll need 2013 to fully soak in everything that has happened this year.  

Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas is coming

I feel like everyone and their brother has started blogging about food and recipes and yummy things, and I'm sitting here like, "I like to bake, but not my own recipes soooooooooooooo..."  So if you still read this blog despite my two and a half month hiatus, I'm thankful for you and happy that you haven't given up on me.  Also, I'm still just writing about my life, so if you're looking for a blog about food you'll have to look elsewhere.  But if food will make you stay, here's a picture of a pizza that I made:

It's pepperoni, naturally rising crust, in case you're wondering.  

Growing up, my mom never did Advent calendars for us.  I think it had something to do with the fact that there were 7 kids and 25 days, and 7 doesn't go into 25 evenly, so that would have resulted in a lot of fighting and stuff that you shouldn't do around the holidays because you're supposed to love everyone and Jesus, and you know, get along. 

But then when we got to college, my mom was like "OH MY GOSH I DON'T KNOW HOW TO LIVE WITHOUT MY KIDS" so she bought these cute little houses and filled them with goodies for us and our roommates and it was wonderful.  I mean, I know she did it for my older sister Jenna and I, but the younger kids might have missed out since Jenna and I are the favorite children and had the best roommates ever my mom is busy and designates her holiday cheer towards things more important than deciding what 25 little gifts she should send to her kids.  Like Christmas movies.  And eggnog.  

My mom started a new tradition when Jenna got married.  For Jenna's first Christmas without the last name Vanderstappen, my mom sent Jenna a gift for each of the 25 days of Christmas.  I hadn't thought about my mom doing it for Jenna 3 years ago until Saturday.  On Saturday, I got a package in the mail from my mom, and I remembered what she had done for Jenna.

There were two packages wrapped in pink, one labeled "day 1" and the other labeled "day 2".  So of course, I ripped open the package and found this:

And was like, "Awwwwwwwwww I have the sweetest mom in the whole world!!"  And Peter was all pouty because there was nothing for him.  Then I used more self-control than I've ever used in my life to wait until Sunday to open my gift for day 2.

On Sunday morning right after I woke up, I went to the kitchen to open my gift:

These are those things that you put in a vase and are supposed to be decorative and not touched, but then you can't help yourself and you submerge your hand in the vase and it feels awesome.  Needless to say, I'm excited for my new springtime decoration.

Then, day 3 came along and I thought that my mom forgot about me because there wasn't anything in my mailbox.  But when I went out to the front porch there was a really big box out there!  And it was addressed to me!  And I was SO happy and excited!!!!  

And then I opened the box.  And plugged this in.  And stared.

But Peter was really happy, because he got his Advent gift, even though it was addressed to SARA Romenesko, not Peter.  So.  There we go.

In other news, we put up our Christmas tree over the weekend and it's beautiful and fun and exciting!  And it makes our house feel all cozy and warm.  But the problem is that it's a real tree and we don't have a watering can.  Yesterday I decided to water the tree by myself, and I actually didn't water it.  Because the water ended up all over the tree skirt and the rug.  So now that's Peter's job.

Also over the weekend, we took our Christmas card picture!

I made that wreath!

After many attempts, at a nice picture in front of our new house all decorated for Christmas, we decided on this one.

Can't you feel my love for him just radiating from my eyes?