Wednesday, October 23, 2013

3 Year Anniversary Weekend

Wow... it's been quite some time since I've written on here!  And what better reason to make a new post?  An awesome weekend with the hubby!  Get comfortable, because this is long enough to make up for the gap in my posts.

Today is our 3 Year Wedding Anniversary!  Since it fell on a Wednesday, we decided to spend this past weekend celebrating.  We bought a house a month ago, so instead of going to the hotel where we spent our wedding night (our 1st anniversary) or going on a trip (our 2nd anniversary), we decided to stay home and enjoy our new house!

When we were in the thick of saving for our house and house hunting over the summer, we had no clue where we would be living on our anniversary or what our financial situation was going to be. Would we have to up our housing budget and continue our cutbacks to save money?  So we decided to take the Friday of the weekend before off work and play it by ear.  It happened to work out that the October OKC Philharmonic concert was the same weekend, so Saturday night out was covered.

One week before our close date, the City of Norman announced a free tree giveaway.  We've never been able to participate in the past as it's restricted to homeowners.  I was ecstatic!  The registration was just 5 days after our closing.  SCORE!  Tree pickup was scheduled for the Friday of our anniversary weekend.  We registered, put in our preference for an Oak tree (I LOVE red oak trees!), and had at least one activity for our day off work.  I was also very excited because landscaping our backyard is a project we want to do.  It doesn't have a single plant or tree!

I've been going crazy with all the boxes, and random things lying around our house.  We've also been incredibly busy, so I seem to stay up late each night trying to unpack a box, organize some closet, or try to find that one item that doesn't seem to be anywhere!  Hubs on the other hand has a more laid back approach to unpacking.  I can't relax with boxes and random stuff everywhere, but it doesn't seem to bother him.  So my goal is to get it all done ASAP so that I can start relaxing.  Needless to say there has been some tension.  So we agreed to spend Thursday night doing as much as we could unpacking and cleaning up so that we could take a break from it over the weekend.  I really wanted to stay at a hotel for the weekend because I honestly didn't think I could not do anything house related for a full weekend right now.  Some last minute searches for hotels turned up disappointing results though.

Thursday night finally came and we ended up at Lowe's again (I never thought I would spend so much time in a home improvement store, let alone actually enjoy it!) looking at light bulbs.  Hubs was really into this part of the house, and by 8pm, I had to drag him home to get our house stuff done so that I didn't do it over the weekend.  He was procrastinating, and it clicked with me that he likes this part, as do I.  So we agreed to spend some time this weekend shopping for our house.  That should take care of our weekend!

We got a lot done Thursday night!  All boxes are contained to 3 rooms of the house, and there are not many left.  We stayed up REALLY late!  But it felt good to get so much done.

On to our weekend...


Since it was "first come, first served" with specific species in each tree category, I wanted to be there right at 7:30am when the tree pickup started so that we had the best change of getting a red oak.  Not the sleeping-in, lazy start I wanted for our weekend, but we got a free tree out of it.  After staying up till 1am working on the house, we didn't make the 7:30am pickup time.  But we did manage to get there within an hour and I was thrilled that we got a red oak!

Hubs was a bit grumpy with me for getting us up so early, but I knew once the tree got planted, he would get over it.   We went to Old School Bagel to pickup some breakfast and headed home.  We lounged around for a while and hung out until it was time to go pick up our anniversary cake at 9:30am.

Our wedding cake vendor recreates the top layer of every couple's cake the first year for only $10, so you don't have to endure stale cake if you don't want to.  We are pretty picky about quality, so we liked that idea.  It was so delicious.  So delicious in fact that we decided to do it again for our 2nd year.  We declared that it's a new tradition.  So each year, we have our awesome wedding cake vendor do the same order.  3 years in, she has picked up on it and thinks it's really cute.

It was really cold and raining, so the cake could stand to sit in the car for a while.  Since we were out, we decided to start doing some house errands.  Back to Lowe's again to continue looking at lighting.  We also hit up Bed, Bath & Beyond, Target, and Home Depot.  We stopped by Bath & Body Works to use a gift card we had received for a previous anniversary to pick up some bath supplies, now that we have a jetted tub to enjoy, and got some nice soap for the various bathrooms.

We managed to get a lot done, and headed home to get some Raising Cane's for lunch and then take a nap.  The 5-ish hours of sleep was not going so well.  But after eating lunch, we were both energized.  We changed out most of our light bulbs with energy efficient florescent and LEDs.  Our electric bill was insane.  I forgot how how much energy incandescent bulbs sucked.  Made worse that our house has mostly canned lighting with flood lights!

Hubs was feeling rather handy, so he worked on changing out light switched to put dimmers on our exterior lighting switches.  Even getting lower wattage LEDs, it was still too bright.  The previous owners had the house lit up like Clark Griswold's house at Christmas!

I thought for sure he was going to crash around 3pm, but he wanted to plant the tree.  It was quite cold, so I bundled up and went outside to help.  I tired helping, but about all I could do was measure to make sure we were off the easement and help break up dirt.  I thought the ground would be soft enough for me to shovel, but I dug the shovel in, stood on the top of the blade, and nothing... "Honey!?"

He was happy to do most of the work. :)


We picked a spot at the SW corner of our property so that we wouldn't block the lake view, and it would hopefully provide some shade (eventually) for the master bedroom which gets really hot. It was a little smaller than we expected, but we are still happy to get a free tree!  One of the many perks to oaks is that they grow fast.

Now came time for something I could do!  I've lived in Oklahoma my whole life (sad, I know!), and I always knew we had red clay dirt, but I guess I never went digging after a rain.  My hands are still a little sore from trying to break up the hard, thick, clay chunks.  I gave hubs quite the laugh when I walked out of the house in my frog hat he had gotten me several years ago. :)


I was right... after the tree was planted, hubs was very happy we got up early and got a red oak (which he also likes).

I think it's really cool that we planted a tree in our own back yard for our 3rd year anniversary!

Next it was time for dinner.  We made Roasted Lemon Chicken, angle hair pasta, and steamed sugar snap peas.  I failed to take a picture of our dinner :-0

We spent our first Christmas married 2 years ago in the San Fransisco area of California with my father-in-law.  They are very close to the Lodi Valley, which has wines that rival the Napa Valley, so we spent a day touring wineries and buying wine.  Father-in-law made an awesome DD for us!  We managed to bring back six bottles of wine!  We save them for special occasions, so we decided to open the last white we have for our dinner.  It didn't quite go (way too sweet), but it was still good.

For dessert we went and got custard.  I of course had pumpkin!  We came home, lit the fire, and played a game while watching an old movie in the background.  We crashed early for a long night's rest!


I worked on unpacking office stuff while hubs slept in a bit.  By 10am I was starving.  I broke down and woke him up.  Thinking we didn't have anything for breakfast, he reminded me that there were some left over potatoes from his recent camping trip, along with some bacon he stashed in the freezer.  We had just bought eggs, so we had hash browns, bacon and fried eggs for breakfast.  I hadn't eaten that in years.

Then we went to see Gravity in the new IMAX 3D theater.  It's apparently one of the largest in the world.  I've never been to this one, so I was a little excited.

The scientist/physicist in me had a really difficult time with parts of the movie, but that aside, it was really good.  I can't imagine seeing it in 2D and enjoying it as much.

Next up was dinner and the OKC Philharmonic.  I had heard about this restaurant called Metro Wine Bar & Bistro.  It had really good reviews among the foodies in OKC, so I showed it to hubs and he was on board.  It was delicious!  We started with the Smoked Salmon appetizer.  It came with course-ground mustard, another sauce, capers, onions, tomatoes, and toast.  It was delicious.  Our waiter listed the specials, and among them was a Roasted Red Pepper Bisque.  It sounded too good, so we shared a cup.  I'm glad we did because it was outstanding.  It had a very deep and bold flavor and was well seasoned.  Oh, and they also had awesome rolls!  For dinner I ordered the tenderloin.  I had heard their mashed potatoes were not very good, so I substituted them for the Parmesan Risotto.  Oh my... this was some serious Parmesan Risotto.  It was thick, rich, and had strings of cheese with every bite.  My steak was so tender, I really didn't even need a knife.  It was cooked perfectly and was well seasoned.  I ordered with a red wine reduction sauce that paired perfectly with it, and the risotto.  It also came with green beans.  They were not anything special, but they were good.  Hubs had the Grilled Yellow Fin Tuna special.  I tired a bite and it was quite good.  He seemed to really enjoy it.  We were saving our anniversary cake for after the Phil, but dinner was so fantastic and we don't know when we will be able to go back, we decided to do the ultimate splurge and try deserts too.  I had the Vanilla Bean Pot de Creme and hubs had the Fudge Cake.  Mine came with caramel, chocolate, and raspberry sauce, all of which were homemade (I verified).  It didn't need sauce though.  It was so rich, smooth, and creamy.  The sauces hid the delicate vanilla bean flavor.  Good thing all the sauces come on the side!  Hub's cake was more like a brownie.  It was over the same raspberry sauce as well as a coffee sauce.  I didn't care for the coffee sauce, but the cake was pretty rich.  It was topped with real whipped cream.  The wine list was the biggest reason we went.  It was quite extensive, and I liked that you could order by the bottle, half bottle, glass, ounce, or try flights.

The OKC Philharmonic was set to be a good concert.
Smetana: The Moldau
Barber: Violin Concerto
     Jennifer Koh, violin
Beethoven: Symphony No. 5

It was one of the top 5 concerts from the OKC Phil.  The Moldau was everything I remember from playing it years back.  The orchestra was energetic and full of sound.  Jennifer Koh was really great!  I don't normally like violin concertos, but she played so fluidly and freely.  You could tell she was born to play the violin and play it well.  Barber's Violin Concerto is also one of the more lighter violin concertos, so it was quite enjoyable.  Beethoven!  I haven't gotten to listen to a live performance of Beethoven's 5th since playing it this spring with the OU Civic Orchestra.  Wow!  Talk about energy and stamina.  I've never hurt so bad after playing a concert as I did after playing Beethoven's 5th.  The OKC Phil executed it greatly.  It had energy until the very last note!  Great concert!

Home we went for our annual cake and champagne!  When I went to buy a bottle for our first anniversary, it was on clearance.  Clearance?  The vendor who sold it was no longer working in Oklahoma.  OK... so why not just order it?  Or go to another liquor store?  Or buy it online?  Thanks to our outrageously ridiculous alcohol laws, this meant that you would no longer be able to buy it, find it, or get it shipped to Oklahoma... at least legally.  So I bought all they had left.  We don't really like champagne, so we spent a few good evenings sampling champagne (or more accurately, sparking white wine) to find a good one for our wedding.  I think it was hub's favorite part of wedding planning.  I distinctly remember a drunken evening, blowing off wedding steam when we found a winner.  I don't want to substitute with sub-par sparking white wine.  So we are well stocked for a few more anniversaries and celebrations, until I have to find another way to get some.

I pulled out our toasting flutes and cake knife and sever from the wedding (part of our yearly tradition).  And we had cake and champagne... just like at our wedding!


I had picked out a restaurant to try for brunch:  A Mexican Diner.  It was really small, but had an extensive menu.  I had Papas con Chorizo which was scrambled eggs, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, homemade choizo, cheese, and plenty of mexican spices.  It was served with two corn tortillas and a warm salsa.  I really liked it.  Hubs had almost the same thing, but potatoes on the side and everything else wrapped in a tortilla and topped with green sauce.  He wasn't a fan, unfortunately.  For some reason pancakes sounded really good, so we shared an order of plain buttermilk pancakes. They were very good!  Overall, it was a so-so breakfast.

A few years ago we started a yearly tradition of going to a pumpkin patch out in Newcastle.  We haven't made it out yet this year, and the weather was beautiful, so we took a drive out to Newcastle.  We've been to a few pumpkin patches, but so far, this has been the best one.  They have hay rides, a corn maze, hay maze, various barn yard animals for petting and feeding, pony rides, pig races, tricycle races, and of course the pumpkin patch.  They also have enough fall gourds, pumpkins, hay, corn stalks, and various canned goods to bankrupt me.  My favorite part is feeding the animals of course!

This year they had baby goats!  I was told they were about 4-5 months old.  {sequels}  They were so cute and lovey.


Usually the goats are full and not all that social.  This year, however, they were quite hungry!  I've never had goats climb up on me to get food.  And they were all about the food.  As soon as I tired to pet them, they ran off.


After feeding goats, and pigs, and petting ponies and bunnies, we did the corn maze.  We've had lots of rain this year, so the corn was very tall.  Much better than last year when even 5'2" me could see over it.  We didn't do the hay maze, but we did do the hay ride.

Usually they have the pumpkin in an area where they actually grew pumpkins, so you have the pumpkin patch feel with the vines.  This year though, they just scattered pumpkins out in a pasture.  :-/ We still had fun though and each picked a pumpkin to carve.

We hadn't spent much money decorating for fall or Halloween because of the expense of moving and buying a house.  But now that this is our house, we were able to talk ourselves into getting our usual hay, pumpkins, gourds, and mums for the front porch.  We went home to decorate!  In just the few minutes we were outside setting it all up, two people walked by and we overheard them talking about how much they liked our porch, and another couple in a car slowed down in front of the house and were pointing and smiling at our house. :)

While we were at it, we deiced to pull out our Halloween stuff.  Hubs REALLY likes decorating for Halloween, and the holiday in general.

We ran some errands and went to get pizza for dinner, and continued working until well after dark. The house looked awesome, but before I could get any pictures the next day, the wind tore a lot of it down.  I'll have to take more pictures after we get it set up again.

This was the best anniversary weekend so far, I think.  Totally random, last minute, and not at all what we would have planned ourselves.  But I loved every minute of it because we spent some quality time together and worked on our own house, that we own, together!

Happy 3 years to us!!!!! It's been an awesome 3 years and I look forward to the many more ahead!

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