Thursday, December 30, 2010

Feliz Navidad

I am a little bit crazy about Christmas. Not sure exactly when it happened. But I absolutely LOVE it! In our little one bedroom apartment, I have not one, not two, but THREE Christmas trees.
We have a tree in our main room with white lights, angel and crystal ornaments, the bedroom tree with Hokie ornaments, and kitchen tree with space and doctor ornaments.

Did I mention I also  have a small Charlie Brown tree at my office? Hahah!
We had stockings hung by the "chimney" with care. Well, fireplace at least!
and plenty of homemade cookies...
Dozens and dozens of cookies were made. From Storck favorites: spritz Christmas trees, and raspberry filled with chocolate tips with my cookie gun from my most favorite in-laws, Stein favorites: traditional "Santa" sugar cookie cut outs with frosting and lastly Mexican wedding cookies. I was a cookie making machine this year.

Our Christmas week started in Ohio with just the two of us. My present from Jared was in one of my favorite boxes.
We travelled to Virginia for the holiday week and spent Christmas Eve shopping with my husband and brother-in-law, Jason. We had dinner at Sweet Water Tavern where somehow I only got a photo of the boys!
This year I had decided to take a turn being in charge of our "Secret Santa" gift exchange and "Grab-A-Gift". All in all it went well and I hope everyone liked their gifts.
We even got some southern snow.
I was lucky enough to see some of my favorite girls... having dinner at Coastal Flats with Laura & Dan from The Land of Syd and then later in the week with Tracey in Falls Church!
We even helped furniture shop with Julie and little miss Madison! 
It was a great holiday which always goes by too fast. With late nights, dance dance revolution tournaments, and lots of food and family.
Merry Christmas from The "Stein" (Storck & McDougall) Clan!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Begins

The winter solstice is today, the start of winter, the beginning of days getting longer! It is also, and more importantly, my best friend Natalie's birthday! Natalie is oh so far away, living literally on the other side of the planet for a few years and I miss her so much.

Thank goodness for technology! I can pick up the phone and talk to her anytime. Like the other night when I called her after a holiday party where I was a wee bit tipsy and we talked and talked. Well, I think I did most of the talking but it was wonderful to know she is always there for me.

And she is. Always there for me. We met in 1993 when we had both made the Drill Team (soon to be called Dance Team) and were suitemates at summer camp. And she has been there for me since. Whether it is all through high school together... (us in 1997)
a crazy NYE night downtown DC...(NYE 2003)
going with me to try on wedding dress after wedding dress for my wedding... (photo care of Natalie! and yes, I was trying on ALL those dresses in the photo during summer 2007)
or just on the other end of the phone on a random night, she is there for me. And I know she always will be. Happy Birthday Natalia! Can't wait to celebrate with you when you are home to visit!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

One million addresses

That is what it felt like. One million addresses that I hand wrote. In reality, it was only one hundred. (Mental note, printing labels next year is a must!)

But I do like how our cards turned out. Here is the Storck Christmas card for 2010!

And since I wasn't blogging back then... here are our cards from Christmas past. Silly, I know. But I just can't help it.

2009

2008


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Three Hour Tour

It took me nearly three hours to get home from work today. Three hours because of this...
and this...
and this...
Thank goodness I have a Jeep and plenty of Christmas music!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Charlotte

North Carolina that is. Over the Thanksgiving holiday we got a call from our friend, Dr. C. Dr. C was a roommate of Jared's in college, the best man in our wedding, a great friend AND he has a wonderful wife, Mrs. S. You don't find many couples that you click with both people. Dr. C and Mrs. S are those kind of people. We always have soo much fun together. Since both of the guys are physicians our visits are always too short, but each meeting is like starting right where we left off. 

Well, Dr. C and Mrs. S surprised us with tickets to the ACC Championship Game where the Hokies were playing Florida State. Needless to say, we were Charlotte bound! A little pre-gaming at a Brazilian steakhouse where we had the whole bar to ourselves!

All bundled up for another Virginia Tech win!
We had a great time with Dr. C and Mrs. S (send kisses to baby C!) and can't wait to see them again soon!

  

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Gobble Gobble

This year we get to spend both Thanksgiving AND Christmas back in Virginia. I am over the moon about this to say the least. As much as I love being with my husband and love my job, it is so difficult being away from my family and friends so I really cherish when I get to see them.

We drove down to Virginia on Thanksgiving morning. It was a really special time, almost my entire extended family was in town.

Mom with her son-in-laws...
Dad and my brother Jeffrey...
My sister's family, Jason, Julie and Madison!
My brother Joey, his girlfriend Jeni (my nephew slept through dinner!), and my cousin Kelly... 
Mom's family, Grandma B, Grandpa B, Uncle Robert, and Uncle Connie...
Great Grandma Connie, Great Aunt Nina and Uncle Connie (again!)... 
Uncle Barry with my cousin Peter and his girlfriend Erin... 
Aunt Carole with my cousins Nicholas & Zachary... 
I am so thankful for all of these people. So blessed to be able to see them as often as I do. And to top it off I was home for my most favorite meal of the year!

But my favorite photo of the weekend was this...
It makes my heart melt to see how much my sister loves her daughter. I am so happy for her. Thankful that she finally has what she has wanted for so very long.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Clown Car

That was my apartment this weekend. A little like a clown car. Full of a lot of people (for a 1 bedroom apartment), a lot of stuff (we don't pack lightly in the Stein family), and a lot of laughs.

Because on Friday, they came to visit where we call home for my birthday...
my Mom
and Dad

and they surprised me by bringing my sister, Julie, and my newest niece Madison, all the way from NYC!
along with her two dogs.
Althought I literally HATE clowns... I loved the clown car feel of this weekend with my visitors and all the love they bring.
 
Happy Birthday to me!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

So Lucky

Last night my family told the waiter that it was my birthday, and they brought me this to celebrate. 
My husband (whom I think doesn't remember things) says, "That is just like our freshman year of college. Remember when I brought you cheesecake with strawberries and sang you happy birthday?" Oh wow! I was turning 18 and was spending my first birthday away from most of my friends and family. But he was there. And has been ever since.

How did I get so lucky?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Dad, The Marathoner

This weekend was ridiculously busy, driving over a thousand miles in less than 2 1/2 days! We began by making our way down to Richmond, Virginia to support my Dad who was running his first marathon.

After a lovely drive through the scenic byway of Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia, we met up with my brother Jeffrey (who is in school at VCU) and my parents for some carbo-loading at the Olive Garden in the former capital of the South!  
Then we were off to drinks with my college roommate, Courtney, whom we were staying with for the night. Miss you lady!
Saturday was the big race day. Dad was ready to go after months of training.
Once he was off, we drove all over the city to be at as many spectator locations as possible to cheer Dad on! I made all the signs with the help of both Courtney and Jared, thanks guys!
(Story behind my sign... When I would think I couldn't accomplish something Dad would tell me about Bela Karoli and Mary Lou Retton and say "You can do it Mary Lou!" I knew he would get a kick out of the sign and hopefully it would help him keep running.)
video
At 4:20:18 Dad finished his first marathon. And we are all so proud of him!
It is amazing to see the mind over body in action. Watching people run a marathon really shows that you can do most anything you put your mind to. My Dad is amazing! I love him so much and am so proud of him.... but lets not keep running any more of these. It was a little scary to see how fragile the body is after pushing so close to the limit. How about just some half marathons?

Well, since Dad was so speedy, Jared and I had just enough time to jump in the car and head down to Carolina to catch the Hokies play one last time (in person) this season.
After another great Hokie win, we headed over to The Land of Syd and Ben for the night. Laura is one of my oldest friends and I hadn't seen her since last Christmas, it had been way too long.
One of the hardest things about living far far away in the Midwest is it makes it tough to see everyone when I would like. Eight months ago, Laura had her second child, a baby boy, and I hadn't met him yet. :(

We had dinner then stayed up late catching up and drinking wine. Not many pictures were taken, since we were busy talking non-stop. But we did get a good one of our "niece" Syd and "nephew" Ben. So happy for you Lo!   
By the time we got home on Sunday, I was exhausted! Can you imagine how my Dad feels?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Early Birthday Surprise!

When I got home from work today I saw that this had come in the mail...
A package from my bestest from far far away! Actually, the future since she lives on the other side of the planet.

Inside was an early birthday gift for me and I couldn't wait eleven more days to open it.
It was a very lovely surprise! Thanks Natalia! Miss you so much and can't wait to see you in January!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

First Snow


Yesterday we had the first snow of the season here in Ohio. Yep, in November. We live in the snow belt, right off Lake Erie. And when most people get flurries around here, we get something like this...
Hey, if it is going to be cold, at least there is snow! I have a fabulous pair of North Face boots to wear and my husband lit a fire...

So we snuggled in for a day at home laying like broccoli!
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