Merry Christmas to all

And to all a good night!

Due to my own laziness I just didn't get around to doing my holiday home tour pictures - sorry! But, I do hope to share pictures over the coming days as we celebrate the holidays with our families.

Nate and I wish everyone a very Merry and Blessed Christmas. We are definitely counting our own blessings this year!


All dressed up

And someplace pretty fancy to go!

We were treated to an awesome night out courtesy of Nate's work on this past Saturday. We went to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse where we enjoyed some great food, drinks and conversation and then we went on a limo/bus tour of Christmas lights around the metro area. It was so nice to meet Nate's co-workers and their spouses. Everyone was super nice and warmly welcomed us to the Masterswitch IT family. I'm already looking forward to next year!

The holiday home tour really is coming up soon. I am not having company this year to share my holiday decorations, so I intend to post pictures on this blog soon! Stay tuned!


We're here, we're just busy!

It's once again that time of the year that I do love - but it goes by so fast because it fills up with SO much.

This weekend we went to Ali's choir concert on Friday, to a card/game night at my parents house on Saturday and over to Nate's parents for dinner on Sunday. In between all of that we somehow started our Christmas shopping.

This next week I sing at church on Monday for the holy day the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. I have choir practice on Wednesday. Nate's changing the oil in the CRV on Thursday. His company Christmas party is next Saturday.

I haven't even looked past next weekend yet. I have more shopping to do, baking to do with my mom and all that other fun stuff that goes with the joy of the holiday season.

And yet while most people would be pulling out their hair - I'll let you in on a little secret. I thrive on all of this! This is my favorite time of year and I charish every minute because it's all usually over way too fast for my taste. So the more I can pack in, the better I say! Nate may not agree with me on that one, but he puts up with it like a good sport. :)

Coming soon....the holiday home tour!


Busy weekend and days ahead

We have now bottled two more batches of beer. We just got done bottling and let me tell you, two batches at once - a little crazy!!

In another couple of weeks we will have a Bitter and a Chocolate Stout ready to enjoy, just in time for the holidays!

Other things we did this weekend include celebrating Dad Kondrick's birthday on Friday, doing some Christmas shopping, singing at church and well, bottling beer!

Tomorrow we have Dad Gilles's birthday, the last of the many birthdays in the last week. Happy birthday Dad!

Next weekend we will be going to Nate's sister Ali's choir concert Songs of the Season and then to a holiday party at my parents house for friends from church choir. It's getting to be that busy time of year!


Happy birthday to us!

Today I am 27, tomorrow Nate will be 27.

We had a great time out with friends on Saturday at Old Chicago. Nate's friend Matt and his wife Amelia made us balloons with our faces on them, which you can see in the picture above. Most all of our other close friends made it as well and we had a blast. Do you see the appetizer sampler in the picture? It was an insane amount of food!

Sunday we had cake and ice cream and opened presents with both sets of parents.

Tonight we will exchange our own gifts with each other and then we're going to dinner at Donatelli's, yum!

So as you can see, it's a long stretched out celebration for us! Then we have Thanksgiving, followed by birthdays for both of our dads. It can lead to a pretty busy week of activities!


This Man

Nate at Gina's wedding in April
Credit for the picture goes to my good friend Justine
Today I would like to dedicate an entire post to half of the duo who make up this blog, even if he does not actually author any of the entries.
It is not our anniversary, it is not a special day, though we do have birthdays next week. But last night I was thinking about all the reasons I love this man.
This man who when I came home from a late Parish Council meeting last night tired and worn out from having gotten up so early for my Cities 97 City Sampler offered to feed the cats (usually I feed them, he does litter box duty), get my coffee ready for today and put my wet laundry in the dryer so that I could just take a bath and go to bed.
This man who when our shower decided to back itself up this morning looked up some info online so he can hopefully fix it himself over the weekend therefore saving us money.
This man who is still a gentleman after all this time we've been together, opening doors for me, letting me go first.
This man who cooked dinner almost every night he was out of work so I could come home and not have to deal with it. And now shares the cooking duties with me now that he is working.
This man who never asks questions if I am feeling down or am in a bad mood, instead just simply opens his arms for a hug.
This man who values my opinion and wants to find things to match my tastes too when it comes to brewing his beer.
This man who listens to me and lets me rant and rave when things are bothering me or stressing me out.
This man who knows when something is bothering me even before I know that it is.
This man who gives me control of the remote most of the time and also control over our Netflix queue.
This man who cleaned off my car one morning when he was leaving for work earlier than me as he hurridly cleaned off his own.
This man who I know loves me unconditionally just in the way he says my name, smiles at me, squeezes my hand when we're walking through a store, winks at me from his pew when I'm singing at church, and other small gestures along those lines.
This man who I know would do anything to make me happy and gives all of himself to making our marriage what it is.
This man that I love more than anything in the world.
I could go on and on but it would probably continue to get sappier. But to my husband of 2 1/2 years I say on this non special day that I love you for the person you are and the person you've helped me become. Happy early birthday my love.


Just Checking In

There hasn't been too many exciting things going on in Beth and Nate world.

We've both been working and have settled into a nice routine of making dinner together in the evening and then settling in for favorite shows on a couple of nights. I've been keeping busy with the usual singing at church. I had the opportunity to get together with some old high school friends over the weekend which was really nice. There is a group of us trying to do this about once a month and it's nice to reminisce but also talk about our lives now.

Nate has two batches of beer that we will be bottling in the near future. A Chocolate Stout and some sort of Bitter. He also has something called applevine fermenting, which will be sort of like an apple wine when it's finished.

On Thursday Gina and I will make our annual trek to Target to stand in line for the release of the Cities 97 City Sampler. We've been doing this for several years now, but this is a big one as it's the 20th anniversary. I have taken the day off and will also be going to get some spa treatments from Nate's friend Matt's wife. Amelia has been studying to become an esthtician and needed clients. Since the services are cheap I was happy to sign up!

This weekend Nate and I are celebrating our birthday with friends on Saturday and with family on Sunday. Then next week is Thanksgiving already! Where does the time go?

So that is what we are up to these days! Hope to share some pictures from the events coming up in the next week so stay tuned!


My girlfriends

So this is an all about Beth post - because I felt like it. I know it's a Beth and Nate blog, but I'm sharing about just me today.

Specifically I wanted to share a video I made for four of my special girlfriends. I'm blessed to have MANY close friends, but these four ladies share a very special place in my heart and as most know, this was a tough year for me and Nate, but these girls were a rock that kept me going. They are the girls I take my annual "all girl weekend" trip with every year: My sister-in-law Ali, my best friend and unbiological sister Gina, Gina's sister Deborah who by default has become my sister too and my sweet singing angel/closest college friend Caroline. I think they would agree with me that the five of us share a bond that is quite deep and the proof is in the pictures in this video.

I made them this video slideshow and showed it to them at our all girl weekend at the end of September this year as a special surprise to thank them for all they've done for me. I hope they don't mind that I'm sharing it with my blog audience as well. It's about four minutes long and is set to a song by Michelle Branch from the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movie that I just thought was very fitting. I hope you all enjoy as well, click this link:http://www.onetruemedia.com/shared?p=6fd6028e399c4394237dd4&skin_id=601&utm_source=otm&utm_medium=text_url and it will take you there.



More than a year ago now Nate's Grandpa Pete told him if he came and got it, Nate could have all his old beer making supplies. It took several family events at the grandparents house before we finally said, ok, we'll come get the supplies. Finally after Russian Easter this year Nate took home a bunch of cool stuff for making beer. This summer while still out of work he began researching and we took a little of our stimulus money and bought our first beer kit and brewed a batch in July.

Since that time, Nate has really gotten into homebrewing, we have made several batches of beer and have so far gotten to sample three of our brews. It's alot of work, but it's also sort of fun.

We brew using his parents turkey fryer, it has to be able to boil in a large pot. When the weather was still nice Nate would just hook up the fryer to our propane tank on the deck. Now that it has been cold, he has done two brews out in the garage using an extra propane tank we have (with the garage door open so he does not spontaneously combust). The beer boils for something close to an hour with all the hops and malt and stuff that makes it alcoholic. Then it has to be cooled very quickly and then finally stored where it will ferment for somewhere close to three weeks. At the end of the three weeks we bottle the beer and then it needs to age another two to three weeks so it will carbonate.

So far we have made and tasted a Red Ale, a "Mocktoberfest" as Nate calls it, a Big River Brown Ale. Currently fermenting is a Chocolate Stout and today Nate just finished an English Bitter. I realize these names may not mean much to those who don't know much about beer - so let's see the Red Ale was rather light, Mocktoberfest was dark, Big River is pretty light, Chocolate Stout will be very heavy and dark and the English Bitter will be somewhat light. My personal favorite so far has been the Big River Brown Ale.

We had an Oktoberfest celebration with friends earlier this fall and we have been enjoying sharing our brews with friends and family. I think it's a neat hobby and I hope we'll be able to continue doing this for a long time to come.

I'll leave you with some pictures from our very first brew in July:

The only "accident" a little spilled malt powder, it did start a very small fire, no one was injured.

I make beer! :)

Beer boiling away

Nate stirring the beer


To be more clear

Ok, so in my last post I said anyone could leave us a comment and say hello - could you please leave your name at least if you do?


A real post of actual substance coming soon!



I just fixed it so anyone can leave us a comment - it wasn't set up that way previously, I apologize for that. Feel free to say hello or comment on posts from here on out.


So what's with the birds?

Because I know I'll get asked this - I am explaining the new background I chose for our blog. Nate and I are both fans of a group called the Eels and they have this cute little happy go lucky song called "I Like Birds". We both enjoy this song and when I saw this background I thought "hmm, that is fitting for us." So hopefully that answers the questions.

Here's a link to the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uh6Qla-OQ-M




We had a few friends over on Halloween, just a low key gathering and it was a ton of fun. Nate and I dressed up as Mario and Luigi (his idea!) and it was by far the easiest costume I have ever done! It helps that Nate made the hats and Ali did my mustache! Fun Stuff! :)


Long overdue update

Ok, so I started this blog MONTHS ago and have not kept up with it at all! I didn't even share the link with anyone after writing that first entry. So, for all of you just tuning in, welcome to our little corner of the internet! My intentions are to keep this updated on at least a weekly basis.

So what has happened since my intended launch of this blog back in February? TONS.

- I left my job as department secretary of Fairview Pharmacy Services for a position as office coordinator at Columbia Park Medical Group. Because Columbia Park was acquired by Fairview earlier this year, this was an internal transfer for me. Which was awesome. It's going relatively well, I work with one of my former co-workers from IC, so that makes me happy as well.

- After 8 months of looking, applying, interviewing like crazy and more or less praying for something good, Nate got a full time permanent position and just started a week ago. He's the Mac specialist at a little company called MasterSwitch IT, which provides tech support to businesses that are too small for their own IT staff. He loves it so far and I couldn't be happier for or more proud of him.

- We have also recently adopted a new little kitty. Some good friends of ours were fostering an adorable cat and we decided, hmm, with Nate's new job maybe Taylor will get lonely, so let's give it a go. It took a few days but they have actually warmed up to each other quite nicely. Never thought we'd be a two cat household, but it's actually kind of fun.

Pippin the Tuxedo Cat

Taylor and her new friend

-This summer Nate and my dad took apart and re-built part of our deck. We wanted to move the stairs from a side entry to a front entry right out into the yard. It turned out far nicer than I could have ever imagined.

-We lost my uncle Jerry to lung cancer in August. It was a tough weekend in Alexandria for the wake and funeral but we know he's in a better place and out of pain.

-My beloved music director stepped down from her full time position at church, at first this was a bit unnerving, but she has stayed on to direct the choir and will be around until someone permanent is hired again. I was also discerned to be a music ministry representative to our church's parish council. This has been an eye opening experience thus far.

-My best friend got married in April and we both participated in the wedding. It was a good time.
On the trolley for Gina and Steve's wedding

I think that about covers it. Right now we are just thrilled to have a double income again and are looking forward to the upcoming holidays.

As I said above I hope to update this on a weekly basis. Thanks for tuning in!


Welcome to our blog!

We're jumping on the bandwagon with the blogging craze. We thought this would be a great way to keep friends and family informed as to the various things we have going on in our lives, especially as the busier we get the harder it is to keep in touch! Right now the plan is to try and post an update on Fridays, we'll see how it goes as we go along. I (Beth) have dabbled in blogging a bit over the last few years with some of my friends, so I will be the main author of these blogs for the most part. I hope to get Nate to pen a few on occasion himself, but we'll have to see how that goes as well!

We've had a rather eventful couple of months. In January, Nate's good friend Matt and his wife Amelia welcomed their first child, a little girl named Isabelle. They kicked off a bit of a baby boom, shortly after them my good friend Gina's sister gave birth to her third child, a boy named Lukas and then my other good friend Caroline's sister Laura delivered her first child, Nicholas at the tail end of January. Laura's husband is currently stationed in Iraq, so she has moved in with Caroline to recieve help and support with Nicholas during the next year or so. I have felt bad for her on more than one occasion, she has come up here from Georgia during one of the coldest winters we've had in a long time! At any rate, it has been fun getting to see all these newborns and we look forward to watching them all grow in the days and weeks ahead.

The Follies are over for another year, we had an early one this year, as early as it can be thanks to an early Lent. I had a great deal of fun putting on our show "An American Tapestry" but I am glad it is over. It was alot to jump from the Holidays right into show preparations!

Nate is currently between contracts again. It is just the nature of the beast working for a contracting agency, they come and go. We're hoping one of these times he can get one that ends in permanent employement. In the meantime he has started sending his resume some other places as well seeing if he can find full time, permanent work without the assistance of the agency. It is nice to have the agency to fall back on though.

We just finished a major reorganization of our house. We sat down one day and realized, we have alot of STUFF. I had stuff, he had stuff and after we got married we just kind of smashed it all together. Because I was going to be hosting a rather large bridal shower for Gina, we decided maybe it was time to rethink how we have some things laid out in our house. It resulted in the pairing down of some furniture, including cutting back on how many t.v.'s we have, shock! We have turned the upstairs living room into just a sitting area. The basement is now our main t.v. room and we've made it nice and cozy for viewing movies and our favorite shows. It may not sound like much, but trust us, it was alot of work. Many bags of garbage were brought to the curb and we found homes for several items we just felt we couldn't keep.

This week Nate's great Aunt Helen, the person who's house we actually bought, passed away. It was simply her time to go, but we were saddened by the news nonetheless. Time was spent this week at the wake and funeral for her.

Tomorrow I am going with Gina to take her niece Cecilia and nephew Seamus to the Children's Museum to see the exhibit "Can You Tell Me How to Get to Sesame Street". We all know what an avid Muppet fan I am and as soon as I heard this was coming, I asked Gina if she thought her sister would let us take the kids to see it. Since Lukas is just over a month old her sister jumped at the opportunity to have the older two out of the house for a bit. So we settled on tomorrow. I cannot wait to go, I hope to take some pictures to share with you all later.

Beyond all of that, not much is new in our lives. It feels like we are always constantly going, going, going, and yet there's not too many exciting things going on in our lives!

Until next time,
Your mighty scribe Beth