2012 Reflections

The year is coming to an end, which means new resolutions and assessing this year’s resolutions.  Last year I made a resolution to appreciate the state that I live in. I think I did a great job of that.  I honestly discovered more of Nebraska in a year than I had in my life.  I read My Antonia (by Willa Cather- Nebraska native), I drove across the state with my family in tow for a week-long Nebraska extravaganza, I drank a lot of Nebraska wine, I blogged my ass off about Nebraska, I bought a cute Nebraska necklace, I visited the Omaha zoo many times, I planted a big garden…that wasn’t super successful  I spent many nights outside by the fire pit with my husband, I spent my days playing with my darling child and surviving motherhood, and most of all I just really tried to be thankful for my life–all parts, not just the Nebraska parts.

Now that the year is over, I am feeling sort of sad.  I made the resolution last year because I knew that Nebraska would like be my forever home. Nebraska is practical, sensible, safe, etc.  Omaha is a great place to live and raise a family. The public schools are decent, cost of living is low, there are a million things to do all the time, and you get to be in a city with the perks of small town living.  For some reason though, I have been thinking of my past dreams.  I wanted to move so badly, I wanted to live in New Orleans or Portland, even some place in Texas where the weather is warmer.  It is sort of heartbreaking to know that those things didn’t happen and probably never will.  My husband has lived all over…I guess that’s what he gets for marrying later in life and what I get for marrying early.   Don’t get me wrong, I love my life. It’s simple, safe, and full of love, but I also find myself craving adventure.  Maybe it’s because one of my dearest friends in Omaha is going to Sweden for 6 months. My heart is breaking that she is leaving. I would give my right arm to go visit her, but I know that the chances of that are super slim.  I am beyond happy for her…just going to miss her like crazy.  Luckily we will be going to Mardi Gras this year and we will get to see lots of friends and new babies.  I hope that fulfills some of my travel dreams.  I literally dream of traveling at least once a week.  So far I have been to Berlin, Paris, Disney World, and Hawaii; it has been great!

So I guess as this new year is approaching, I hope that I can continue to love and appreciate Nebraska. I hope I continue to be thankful.  I am very thankful to those of you who have read my blog and joined me on my adventures. I hope that you have seen something here that’s makes you want to love Nebraska too, or at least visit!

Lots of love to you in 2013.  XOXO

Chelsey

Two of the highlights from 2012 (three if you count Chimney Rock)

Two of the highlights from 2012 (three if you count Chimney Rock)

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A Few of My Favorite Things

I have not been a fan of Christmas time for many years. However, I feel like now that I have a little lady in my life (Edith) I am growing to appreciate the season a bit more…and  Christmas in Omaha is really lovely. There are lights and decorations throughout the city, Christmas tree stands in random parking lots, and there is usually snow on the ground.  I have been thinking this year about a few of my favorite things in Omaha around this time…Nebraska related an others.

1. Brightly colored Christmas Tress at Cirian’s Market on Leavenworth Street

This place is right near my house and every time I drive by and see these pink , blue, purple, and rainbow trees I smile.  These trees are ridiculous, not to mention they cost about $100.   Someday, I will buy one of these trees and I am sure I will have to make a pro/con chart in order to decide which color to buy. I took this picture while driving and they didn’t have many of the trees out, but trust me they have a rainbow one!!

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2. Holiday Cocktails

I am generally a wine and beer drinker but when the holidays come around I bust out the hard stuff.  I am just trying to channel “Drunk Uncle” from Saturday Night Live.  My favorite holiday cocktails are Manhattans and Negronis.  Many Decembers ago, I was a 21 year old hanging out with my friends and getting crazy. We wanted to make Manhattans and had no idea how to make them so I decided to call this older guy I had just met and ask him.  That man was Brent, my darling husband, and not long after that phone call did we go on a date.  I am pretty sure I have the Manhattan to thank for bringing Brent and I together.  The Negroni is a good holiday drink because it is red, and like a Manhattan, it’s very strong.  Here are the recipes for you (the way I make them):

Manhattan:

2 shots of bourbon

1 shot of sweet vermouth

A dash of angostura bitters

1 Maraschino cherry

Put in a glass with ice, mix.

*If you are Brent, you put a bunch of grenadine in it and a couple of cherries

Negroni:

1 shot of gin

1 shot of sweet vermouth

1 shot of Campari

Put in a glass with ice and mix

*Sometimes I like to put this in a bigger glass and add club soda

3. Nebraska cookie cutter

I got this cookie cutter as souvenir on our big ol’ trip out West this summer. I love it. Even though I don’t care for sugar cookies, and I burned most of the batch, I was very glad to be able to send red (okay, pink) and green Nebraska cookies to my favorite out-of-staters! I would have sent more out, but I burnt about a third of them. I am sure by the time anyone receives these cookies, they will be hard as rocks. I would recommend drilling a hole in them and using them a as a Christmas Ornament.

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4. The annual Kosterpelding Christmas Card

This is something forced upon me each year by my husband.  I generally dread it but end up loving every minute of it when it happens.  He always comes up with some random idea and I just go with it.  Here are some samples of past Christmas card photos. These tradition is going to make for several years of embarrassing our child(ren).

xmas 2011

xmas 2010

xmas card 049

I guess for me, these things have made my Christmases more bearable and I imagine as Edith gets older I will find even more reasons to like this season.  This year we are mostly just trying to keep her from tearing down the Christmas Tree.

Happy Holidays!