Friday, December 31, 2010

Best of 2010 in pictures

Last week at TBC Pastor Jim gave an assignment to think of 10 things that have happened to you in the last year, and then make a list of 10 things you'd like to see in 2011.  I actually like this assignment!

2010 really has been quite an eventful year for me (if not the most!).... let's seee.......

1.  I began an online/Skype/1500 mile courtship with my now husband

2.  I traveled to Peru with a small group from Washburn to study for a couple of weeks.

And Israel was there too!!

No, not really.  We hadn't met in person yet.  This is photoshopped.  ;)

3.  My dear sister got married to a great man of God.

4.  I met said now husband for the first time in person at the airport in March, four months after we began talking.

5.  We got engaged a month later (I know, we move fast).

6.  After studying at Washburn for five years, I finally graduated in May with a Bachelor's in Art History.  And my whole family plus then fiancé were all there!

7.  I took a post-grad trip with my bestie to Williamsburg and then spent three weeks in Ireland, traveling around the whole coast and staying in a slur of youth hostels.

8.  I started planning furiously for our upcoming wedding and went to lots of fun parties and bridal showers.

9.  I married the absolute love of my life and most thoughtful man on September 9th in my uncle John's barn. We had a blast partying it up at the reception with everyone we loved the most right there with us.  It was the happiest day of my life!  We then spent a blissful honeymoon in beautiful St. Thomas.

10.  And just two weeks ago, I stuffed a chicken for the first time in my life.  It was terrifying.  And gross.

And that sums up 2010!  Looking back, I feel unbelievably blessed.  This has been an amazing year, that's for sure!  Looking forward to what the new year has in store for us!  :)

Happy New Year's everyone!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Plane Rides, Benadryl and a Crowded Love Nest

I have felt like the laziest person since we got back from Topeka two nights ago.  I've had this weird on-and-off cold/sinus infection/allergies for 3 months now (probably would be a good idea to see the doctor), and it started up again the morning we left Miami for Topeka.  It worsened over the weekend until I couldn't breathe at all out of my nose or stop sneezing when we were 30,000 feet in the air on the way home.

The MIA (Miami International Airport) is insane and I feel a bit like I'm part of a cattle drive when we try to maneuver our way around.  We took a crowded sky train to baggage claim and waited for an hour and a half for our bags to come swinging around on the carousel.  We finally got to our little home at 10:30, approximately 12 hours after we left Topeka.  At this point, I was feeling very low.  Israel and I watched a couple episodes of 24, and then I took 2 Benadryl pills and knocked myself out for the night.

Yesterday was a blur for me.  I woke up when Israel left for work, took another Benadryl and slept right up until he came home for lunch.  I lay in bed, completely out of it, as he fixed himself a sandwich and then lay down next to me for another hour.  I was feeling better later that afternoon.

Now to the Crowded Love Nest part.

When I left Miami, I only had a little carry-on bag, and we came back with our carry-on's, plus my huge 50 pound checked suitcase.  It's loaded with cooking supplies (my Christmas presents this year), home-cooked goodies, my winter wardrobe, and several books and movies.  Upon our arrival here, we were both so tired that we (or really just I) left my bags in the middle of the room to sort out later.  Due to my zombie state yesterday, I didn't get around to unpacking or cleaning.

Our living room floor is now filled with a new wedding present, our coffee maker, and an old CD player Israel's grandpa Jorge just brought by.  The following explains how we just acquired that last item:

I'm lying in bed, still in my pajamas, hair seriously unkept, and feeling sluggish from massive amounts of Benadryl in the last 48 hours.  I hear a knock on the door, and I debate for a minute whether to get up and answer the door, looking like I do.  Wondering if it might be a package, I get up and answer the door to see Jorge standing there with an old CD player.

"Oh, well hi!"  I greet him.

"Oye, I don't know... if it work... but if you want...."  Jorge says in his broken English.

"Oh okay, well gracias.  I'll see if it works."  (I usually try to speak some form of Spanish, but I was too tired today to even try to form coherent sentences)

"I don't know... if it no work... whooosh," Jorge motions to the garbage bin down the driveway.


"Sí, el radio is good, pero bueno, no sé el audio.  If it no work, just whooosh," Jorge motions toward the garbage bin again.

"Okay, well gracias!"  I say and take the CD player and place it on the floor, and fall back into bed again.

On another note, Israel and I had a completely wonderful time in Kansas... which I will soon write about.  :)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Very Merry Wenger Christmas

The air is brisk, my mom's famous Christmas decorations are all throughout the house, warm cookies are readily available, and my whole family is together again.  It's going to be a great Christmas!  :)  I can't wait to see all of the other real Topeka people!

I love this time of year.  I love celebrating the birth of my Savior.  I remember the TBC series at church last year about Christ being the one true light at Christmas, and that really stuck with me.  In such a dark time, God promised the birth of the Messiah, of His Son.  I'm thankful to know Him, and I'm thankful that He's very much alive today.  I love this verse:

"The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned... for to us, a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will rest on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace..."
-Isaiah 9:1, 6

Sunday, December 19, 2010

From The French Chef

My husband picked up a French Chef DVD for me at the library, and having never watched much of the real Julia Child, I was pretty excited.  I watched several episodes before I came across the following quote, and now I'm sure that I love her.

“Whenever eggs are going to be cooked or made into something, they almost always have to be beaten up first.  And this, for some reason, prepares them for the dreadful things that are going to happen to them afterwards. I think we can see the egg yolks are rather nasty little people that need to be beaten and treated roughly… and just like you speak roughly to your little boy and beat him when he sneezes and then he’ll always do the right thing.  That’s how you have to feel about egg yolks."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Craving, Craving, Craving...

I've put myself on a little no-sweets diet for the last few weeks (although I do still take in small pieces of chocolate... it's an actual need).

This is due to my excessive baking for the first few months of marriage... thus leading to me putting on a little bit of newlywed weight.  However, I've been trying to be a good girl!  And I haven't baked anything in quite a while.  I miss it.

I have a major sweet tooth, so this is no easy feat, let me tell you!  I am craving all kinds of pies, cookies, cakes and tarts.  I've got it bad.  To help ease my cravings (or maybe it's really torture), I've been looking at different sweet recipes online.  This is probably making it worse, because I can't seem to stop drooling over them!  Allow me to share a few with you...

Red Velvet Cake Balls, Chocolate Quesadillas, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars, and Pumpkin Whoopie Pies.... oh my! I think I'm making it worse for myself.

Needless to say, I'm giving myself allowances at Christmas.  I can't wait to indulge!  And if I know my mom, I know she will definitely have a plethora of sweet treats around the house.  :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas at the Sanchez Home

Homemade Christmas decorations, a strand of colored lights, Otis Redding and the start of December makes everything a little cozier.  :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Forgotten Garden

I love when I can find a book that I can’t stop thinking about, that I have to force myself to put down so I can sleep or do other productive things.  The last time I found a book like that was when I read The Time Traveler’s Wife this summer.  I actually bought Forgotten Garden after reading Time Traveler’s Wife, hoping to find the same addictive flavor.  Either I was too consumed with wedding planning or the fact that I only read it before I went to bed, but I just couldn’t get into it.    

It was one of the few books I took with me here to Miami, so I finally gave it another chance last week.  I found where I had left off back in July, but realized that definitely too many months went by with me remembering practically nothing about what I read.  So I began from the beginning, and after actually focusing my whole attention on the book, I was hooked.

Forgotten Garden alternates each chapter between three different time periods, three generations of women.  This would make it hard to follow if you hadn’t been reading everyday with all of the stories fresh on your mind, but it was easy for me as this book soon became my obsession.  This book is largely about a woman, Nell, who was adopted at a young age and seeks to find her real identity.  She travels halfway across the world in order to do so, and the ending is a delightful surprise.  The only real artifact from her past is a small suitcase she had with her as a child, which later provides clues to her real parents.  Nell is left with this old book of fairy tales, some of which are actually written out and inserted in the book, which I loved reading! 

The earliest story line begins in Victorian England, which has always seemed like such a romantic time to live even though I know most of the conditions were not so ideal.  One of my favorite features of the book is the Victorian estate in England, which has elaborate gardens, caves, secret tunnels, a hidden cottage by the sea, and a maze. 

Although The Forgotten Garden is an intimidating 549 pages, it will keep you captivated the whole way through, as all of the characters’ mysteries come to some kind of thrilling resolution at the end.