We've gotten out of the routine of posting often, but know that there are many of you out there who might be wondering how we're (okay...how Kurtis is...) doing. The answer - great! Here is a run down of what we've been up to the last few weeks ...
The end of December meant the end of school for me, and it was busy (as the end of quarters and semesters always are). We went a week longer than 'usual' or than many other schools are currently going, and even though the last week was a little rough and the kids were a little ragged, I am REALLY enjoying being off of work a week into January rather than being back at school...now.
In late December, Kurtis had another tumor marker check and an appointment with the doc. Everything is looking good - tumor markers are still normal and he is set to have another CT in February. The fact that his markers are still good made for a good birthday for me (yes, I'm 25 now...and officially old...I think...) and a good Christmas as well.
We spent the first part of my time off of school in the Springs with my family. My little sister (Christina) was home from her college in Spokane, and it was great to see her while she was home. We got to go out to one of my favorite brew pubs - Phantom Canyon. They make an excellent pile of steak fries, cheese, sour cream, and bacon that I absolutely adore...and the beer is great :). We enjoyed catching up with my family and hours upon hours of board games (including ZERO, Ticket to Ride, Bananagrams, Phase 10, Chronology, Buzzerwezzer, and...maybe a few others). We celebrated Christmas with my family a day early - and although Timmy and the Donkeys didn't pull off a "W", bit was a wonderful day filled with love and great food. On Christmas day we took a trip up to Denver to celebrate with my Mom's side of the family. We had a wonderful time with all of them and Kurtis even won the BIG PRIZE! For Christmas, we all purchased a $15 dollar gift, and then put $5 into the "big" gift. They were all wrapped in similar sized boxes in the same wrapping paper and we drew numbers and gifts. Although Kurtis drew #13 (the last number) he won the prize and walked away with $80! We spent a few more days in the Springs hanging out with my family and trying to help Chauncey understand why Luke and Quincy (my parents' labs) didn't want to play with his psychotic self.
From there, we headed up and out to Holyoke where we had Christmas #2. We enjoyed hanging out with Kurtis' parents, sister, brother-in-law (what is that to me? brother in law-law?), and niece. The days were pretty low -key and I was able to get some work done for school and we both just enjoyed some 'down time'. Christmas #2 was great - although I think the highlight for both Kurtis and myself was the elephant toy we got Aubrey (niece) for Christmas. The elephant toy shoots balls out of his trunk and then they fall into his stomach through his ears. After about 500 hours of wrestling it out of the box (apparently toys for kids need like 100 little tie things and small odd pieces of cardboard), we finally got it working and Aubrey was quite excited. She jumped up and down and exclaimed "WOW, WOW, WOW! Amazing!". She's getting pretty big now (about 1.5 years) and is a lot of fun now that she can talk and play. After a good few days in H-town, we headed home with a very tired dog.
The last few days have been both busy and relaxed. With money my grandparents and Kurtis' parents gave us along with Kurtis' BIG PRIZE money, we were able to take a trip down to IKEA and re-do one of our rooms. For Christmas, we got ourselves a new bed and nightstands (the Malm), and were hoping to be able to re-do our dining room next. So, earlier this week we headed down to Denver and picked up a new dining room table, four chairs, two "square" storage units and three floating shelves. and two bar stools. If you're not familiar with IKEA, they are a furniture/home store. We love it. The furniture is reasonably priced and modern...when you pick up what you want, it comes in flat boxes and you assemble it at home. I love that part - it makes me feel like I am 'making' our furniture...that and I like building stuff so it is fun for me. We've spent the last several days moving old stuff (big bookcase into our storage room which is now, thankfully, a lot more organized...old squeeky table is disassembled and in the basement too), and putting together and hanging up new stuff. We are insanely pleased with how everything has come together. Our new table is a lot smaller than our old one, and the room feels a lot larger now that we've taken out a bookcase that was just too big for the space. Chauncey is having a hard time as we've moved his 'house' (kennel) and when we ask him to 'take a time out' (go in his kennel) he gets really confused. Currently, he just goes and sits in the corner where his house used to be and we've got to help him find his house...it's rather amusing.
I head back to school on the 9th and Kurtis has several sub days already lined up. He has really been enjoying coming in to Polaris and will be coming to help me (well, my kids really) as I have about thirty-three kids in my English class. K is feeling stronger and better all the time. In the last few days before school I've been getting in some new recipies(Thai last night - and Madelines, Indian tonight!) which I really enjoy. In addition, we're both huge political junkies and have been getting increasingly excited about the 2012 election. We enjoyed watching the updates on Iowa yesterday and were amazed to see Romney win by EIGHT votes (that makes it easier to tell kids that EVERY vote counts!). Other than that, we've just been relaxing and hanging out with the pup who is sleeping hard right now due to this afternoon's visit to the dog park.
Here is hoping that everyone had a great holiday season and is enjoying the start to 2012. We're counting the days until our wedding (June) and Kurtis' one-year cancer free mark (Aug). Sending love from all three of us to all of you!
Liz, Kurtis, and Chauncey