Of the few things we seem to have gotten right in our country, an entire day devoted to feasting with family and friends is definitely one of them! We were so grateful to spend the holiday with some of our closest friends and their incredible families who have welcomed "orphans" like Dan and I into their homes for the past few years. Being far from our own families is always difficult on holidays and although we haven't been home for Thanksgiving in six years, every year (minus the buffet at our honeymoon resort in Mexico, yum!) we have been blessed to enjoy a delicious home cooked meal with amazing company. While a lot is still unknown about our future near and far (sorry, no updates yet!), we have so much to be thankful for in the present and about our lives in Colorado.
We also celebrated our fourth anniversary Wednesday night, since our real day fell on Thanksgiving this year. The fourth year is the fruit-and-flowers (or linen!) anniversary, so I surprised Dan with chocolate covered strawberries and he gave me four perfect roses. We stopped at a cute cafe, Satchel's on 6th, for a glass of wine before our reservation just down the street at Fruition- the most incredible restaurant in all of Denver. We first ate there on our 2nd anniversary thanks to a gift certificate from my parents and ever since we had been saying how we should make a habit of going at least a few times a year, and yet two years had passed, but it was just as incredible as we remembered. We shared a yummy bottle of Leifman's Beer, Dan had the fried chicken and I had the "grazing vegetarian" special, butternut squash and beet rosti- insane! The best part about the restaurant is that there is never any rush, courses are brought out as they are made, and beer glasses and bread plates are never empty. Once again we made a pact to go back at least once more this season, and we're stickin' to it!
After dinner we walked over to the Esquire theater and saw a late night showing of Ana Kerinina. It was fantastic, some of the best cinematography I have seen. It feels like you're watching a live play or following along with a novel rather than a movie. I snuck in a batch of the strawberries I made (milk chocolate with pistachio, milk chocolate with sea salt, and white chocolate with graham cracker- yum!) and a tiny bottle of port for us to share, but my rule-abiding husband left me to do all the dirty work.
I'm not sorry.
We usually watch the video from our wedding day my dad put together with the footage from family member's cameras but we didn't get home until after midnight. We got up the next morning and ate pumpkin-apple-cinnamon oatmeal that had been in the slow cooker all night and watched some of the parade on tv. After taking the dogs on a long walk, we made our famous roasted brussels sprouts to take to dinner (though we strayed from our usual recipe and endangered lives by adding too much garlic and tiny shards of glass from the baking dish lid that cracked in the car ride over)... note to Hailey- just stick to the recipe.
Friday morning Dan was working on homework, the house was clean and I was off work, so I decided to brave the mall madness by myself. I actually love shopping alone, it's when I produce my best work and the mall was surprisingly tame by the time I got there around 10:30. Having worked in retail for several years, I actually love the busy rush of the holidays, so I felt right at home squeezing through crowded stores and weaving around towering displays while Christmas music played. I found a few good deals and crossed some things off my list but mostly I just loved watching everyone rush around with their boxes and bags. Last night we put up a few decorations, listened to Ella Fitzgerald, prepared a spread of crackers, cheese, pistachios, and fruit, and curled up to watch a Bond movie...... or two. We're thinking about seeing Skyfall tonight, so we had to be prepared!