Saturday, December 11, 2010


We want to share some pictures of holiday festivities that we've thoroughly enjoyed.

First up, Thanksgiving in Buffalo, New York

We got to hang out with Amy, Ariel and Austin Swensen over Thanksgiving break, and it was wonderful being with family.

We had dinner with some ward members and this little chica (Nora) was entertained by Steve for at least an hour. Even after she caused a glass of grape juice to spill all over me (yes, I was lucky enough to be wearing a white blouse that day), I still thought she was the cutest little girl on the planet.

My first attempt at a pumpkin cheesecake.

We got to spend a day sightseeing in Palmyra to visit the Church history sites and catch a session at the Palmyra temple.

E.B. Grandin Press - this was one of our favorite places.

The Sacred Grove
We basically had it to ourselves, which was amazing.
Freezing, but wonderful.

Making ourselves at home in the Smith family log house in Palmyra.

Gorgeous scenery in the late afternoon.

And to welcome in the Christmas season?

A ukelele concert.

Because who doesn't love a good ukelele concert?

Steve's friend Alex graced us with a lovely rendition of The Flaming Lips' Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.

It was awesome.

And we decided to jump on the tradition bandwagon by making gingerbread houses with friends.

Evidence that the gingerbread houses were made from scratch.
It was quite the undertaking.

Frosting preparation

Spiced gumdrops - essential components of any gingerbread creation.

The houses in the forefront were homemade, while the one in the back came in a kit. I got lazy. I called my friend Ann to find out how to make stained-glass windows since her family members are expert gingerbread architects, and the windows turned out pretty well. Thanks Ann!

Jeremiah and Abby at the outset.

The finished project - I loved their lattice roof and m&m walkway.

Brianna & Uncle Joey in the thick of it.

They claim they made an Ewok farm. We have no idea what that means, but it was sure fun to see their creativity come to life.

The Mr. & Mrs.

The finished product.
Those might be gummy bears sneaking a holiday kiss under the mistletoe.

These gingerbread houses had stories to tell, that's for sure.

It was a hit - we already have a waiting list for Gingerbreadfest 2011.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The New Digs

We've been in Columbus just over two months now so we figured it's time to post about our lovely little townhouse since everything is finally put together. This post will hopefully convince my family that we're not using cardboard boxes as furniture (which we were for a time).

I love our blue door. It's friendly.

The Kitchen:

I'm not sure why we didn't move the bike earlier, but we weren't using the dining area so I guess we figured something should enjoy the space.

The flowers add a nice touch, but they aren't usually there. I bought some roses and gerber daisies to inspire me for an upcoming wedding I'm doing in December, but it was really nice to have them around for so long.

One of the best parts of moving to Ohio has been using all the wonderful kitchen appliances/gadgets that we received as wedding gifts that were kept in storage while we lived in Scotland. It was a Beauty and the Beast moment (think Be Our Guest) when we finally unpacked and used everything. The rice cooker is my culinary bff.

The Pantry
Still in a chaotic state, but we love it.

It's family and friends that make a house a home. This picture is evidence of my love of Saturday mornings - waffles and crazy friend sightings. HA! Joe didn't want to feel left out of the kitchen/cooking madness so we let him wear an apron too.

Downstairs bathroom

And now that brings us to the family room:

That cardboard box was our dinner table before the real one arrived from D.C. We had lots of fun with dinners those first couple weeks.

This is the day all our stuff arrived. I don't think I touched any of it for two days due to the sheer overwhelming-ness of the situation that was our living room.


But funny chaos.
We received a gift-card to Walmart (also from the wedding) and figured we'd use it to print off photographs that we wanted to hang up on the walls. Walmart messed up our order a couple times and ended up giving it to us for free. SCORE! I thought they had to be joking considering how many pictures we were printing off, but they weren't. It took us forever to figure out what to put where.


MORE AFTER from a different angle.

I found Steve like this one evening and couldn't help but laugh.
Pretty sure it takes some serious skill in order to study in that position.

Another fun thing about our place is having room to hang up paintings I finished a few years ago.
The door on the right side leads down to the basement, but I didn't take any pictures...

Upstairs bathroom - very exciting.

Joe made this sign, which will remain on the door until a new visitor occupies our spare bedroom. And even then, we'll likely refer to it as Uncle Joey's room...


Steve totally lucked out when he married me. Why? Because of the sweet desk I brought into the marriage. That, my friends, is my favorite desk from my days at BYU. I've been excited for five years to put it back together again, and I'm glad Steve puts it to such good use.

Girly? Yes. Super comfortable? Yes, yes.
And, even better than all that - it's a trundle bed! The more the merrier in these parts.

Master Bedroom.

That's the tour!
We hope you've enjoyed a glimpse of our lives here in Ohio.

And since it's now December, I figured I'd include some pics of the Christmas decorations that are making debut appearances at the Adams residence this year.


The tree.

We put up Christmas decorations a week and a half before Thanksgiving because we only get to enjoy them for about three weeks since we'll be heading to Utah in no time at all.


Three days after putting everything up, my visiting teachers came over to visit and that's when I realized that our townhouse is NOT kid-proof. Both women brought wee ones that loved to touch, squeeze, and likely, lick everything that looked sparkly, shiny, or fragile.


Here's our brilliant plan to child-proof our decorations for our own kiddos:

We took pictures of some the ornaments that we acquired over the last year so that we can print them out and either: a) do something easy with hodge-podge and a backing of some sort, or b) stick with time-tested cardboard and glue. It depends on how ambitious I'm feeling when that time comes.

So...the following ornaments are temporarily comfortable on the Christmas tree, but in future years we'll opt for the replaceable/bendable/tearable versions so as to protect the originals until the little munchkins won't destroy them:



Coolest Santa I've ever seen.
Edinburgh, SCOTLAND


Florence, ITALY

Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS again


Innsbruck, AUSTRIA

Cinque Terre, ITALY

Hong Kong, CHINA

Inverness, SCOTLAND

Marrakech, MOROCCO

And since we haven't found a cool tree-topper yet, Frosty the OSU-man is proudly adorning the top of our tree.

In other completely random but fantastic news:

1) Steve's last day of class is TOMORROW! Where, oh where, does the time go? I'm so proud of how he's done this quarter.

2) I officially graduated last Friday (in absentia) as "Kristen Kathleen Irvine" (too many hoops to jump through to get U of E to let me graduate with my married name on the diploma. Sad.), but....

3) I officially became "Kristen Kathleen Adams" TODAY!
(I finally made the name change official on government only took 15 months.)

4) It finally SNOWED here today! It made me so happy.