Friday, December 18, 2009

Jeremiah's Premature Mid-Life Crisis

I must share with you a couple snapshots from this morning. It was our last day of work before our two-week Christmas break (the one good thing about Virginia) and Jeremiah was very excited for crazy hat day at school. Wouldn't you know he had quite the plan.
Thursday night he went out and bought a Santa hat.
And white hair spray.
And this is what he looked like twelve hours later.

Petrifying almost. I can't help but laugh to myself as I recall eating breakfast this morning as I heard my dear 23 year old husband practicing his "ho ho ho"s in front of the bathroom mirror. A cheap Santa hat, lumberjack flannel, and a bushly white beard are perhaps not the most flattering of looks for Jeremiah. And can you believe this is post-accidentally-shaved-off-two-inches-of-his-beard? Can you imagine?? 

'Tis the season I suppose. 

Koehler Sibling Fun

Right now, a blizzard is striking down on Richmond, VA, keeping us from traveling north tomorrow for Christmas as was planned. Also, Jeremiah conked out on the sofa about ten minutes into A Christmas Story (which is a cardinal sin in my book). So, as I sit dealing with those two tragedies, I thought perhaps I should update on last weekend.

Last weekend Andria and Cameron came to visit us for the weekend. We had a blast!! There visit was highly anticipated, and far surpassed our expectations. We laughed a ton as we embarked on many fun and festive adventures. Soon after their arrival, Cameron clued us in on his two goals for the weekend. (1) To get fat. (2) To get poor. Mission accomplished.
Friday night we saw about nine houses on Richmond's FAMOUS (yes, a featured show on TLC even) Tacky Light Tour. Who knew there were so many nutty people out there? These houses were absolutely crazy, and the people who put the time and effort into decorating them must be completely off their rocker. But I'm glad they are. Their crazy antics provided hours of fun for us. Here are just a few. 

Saturday we went to a little ol' thing called TubaChristmas. Only, I don't think it's that little. I think it's like a legitimate thing in many cities. A bunch of tuba players seated on folding chairs accompanied by a large Italian soloist and a bunch of Richmonders shaking their keys as pseudo jingle bells. Outside in downtown Richmond. I felt embarrassed to have brought them there. But, with JEremiah being a veteran sousaphone player, I thought it might warm his heart. Not sure it did that, but it cultured us I suppose. We then walked to Bottom's Up Pizza and stuffed our face with pricey, mammoth-sized pizza. And even though we could barely breathe because our stomachs were puffed up to our diaphragms, we then headed to Two Sweet, a gourmet cupcake shop. Delicious! Here are some of the ones we sampled.

We fell asleep to A Muppet Christmas Carol when we got back and continued to eat and laugh more into the evening. Sunday was a complete washout (as is customary every time my family visits), but we made the most of it. We went to a second cupcake place, called Frostings. Better cake, but less cupcake for the money. The verdict is still out on the better cupcake vendor; however, I think Two Sweet is a step ahead. Lord knows we continued to eat onion dip and buffalo chicken dip the rest of the day, and started gaining our holiday weight a tad bit early for the season. It was worth it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Deck the Halls

Our Christmas decor is finally coming together, and although these pictures don't do it any justice (in my opinion), I thought I'd share anyway. I went for a peppermint type theme this year, with lots of candy cane and peppermint patterns... even big red and white candies hanging above the dining 'room' table, which are quite fun. This afternoon we also put up some retro, fat colored lights on our railing--something that never would have been seen at the Koehler house growing up. Don't get me wrong, I am a huge fan of my parents' taste in decor, and I myself try to mimic it, but there's nothing like the feeling of a hint of fun, gaudy Christmas.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Kitchen Concoctions

We've been getting crafty in the kitchen recently. Well, one of us has been crafty, the other just went nuts. You be the judge.

Here is Jeremiah with his huge mixing bowl full of homemade eggnog. He made it last night, I won't drink it, and we leave tomorrow until Saturday night. May or may not have been his wisest choice. He declined to comment when asked why he didn't half the recipe.

Here is what remains of the cake I made for a little going-away shindig we had for two teachers that I work with. Isn't it so fun?? Remember, I work in an elementary school, so things with bright, fun colors are wonderful! Cameron, please refrain from commenting. I already know many many things you may have to say about this.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bye Bye Santa Beard

'Twas a sad moment in our apartment two nights ago. Jeremiah went into the bathroom to cut his hair, as he has always done. And kind of like the children's book, If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, Jeremiah couldn't settle with just a haircut. He then wanted to trim up his sideburns. And then he wanted to even out his unruly beard. We examined the monstrosity on his chin, determining it to be more than an inch long (the longest setting on his clippers) but not by too much.

We were wrong.

Jeremiah looks like a normal man now, with appropriately trimmed facial hair. We figure his beard must have been between two and a half to three inches long. Ew. As much as I joked about that Santa beard, I really felt for my husband after that trimming mishap. He was a sad man, and I was sad for him. He had been so diligent about growing it out and not giving in to my most desperate of pleas. He was even looking forward to appearing on stage as Santa himself at our cousin's high school band concert (he's the band director) on December 10th. No more cameo in store for him. And I have been dreading breaking this to you, the fans, but I'm afraid our Christmas card photo may look semi-normal now. Unfortunate, I know.
Maybe throw up a prayer or two for rapid hair growth for Jeremiah, in the hopes that his joyful spirit will soon return for the holidays.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I haven't posted anything, largely due to the fact that our lives have really been uneventful. We leave for work by 7am, Jeremiah returns at 5:30 or 6pm and I arrive shortly after him at about 6:20pm. I make dinner (although Jeremiah was the culinary master last night since I wasn't feeling well), we watch Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, and then I typically fall asleep on the couch while Jeremiah does more work. Good times.
We're in the midst of sorting out our Christmas decor and figuring out what gifts to buy for family. Next week we'll be heading north to Montrose for Thanksgiving and return on Sunday to put up our own tree. We're looking forward to being with family and celebrating the holidays. At that point, there will be much more to share with you.
Hang in there, December should be a more eventful month!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

October Recap

Sorry to keep the fans waiting. I really have no excuse. It's been a busy month; however, my laziness got the best of me. 
We've traveled to Penn State twice--once for the football game against Eastern Illinois with the Koehler clan and again two weeks later for Ali and Jordan's wedding. Although the hours on the road have been tiring, it has been so good to be able to see our family and friends. We've also enjoyed experiencing true fall weather in Pennsylvania. Virginia is way too warm. Jeremiah and I are aching for chilly days in the 50s. Today, it was supposed to get up towards 80 degrees. Ew.
In other news, Jeremiah's "Santa beard" is out in full force, much to my dismay. He continues to stand firm in his convictions, refusing to shave until after Christmas. It's officially getting out of control, and I may or may not be plotting a scheme to take his razor to it while he's fast asleep. I'll keep you posted.
What else. Oh! I have been moved to Springfield Park Elementary School to be an instructional assistant to all five of their second grade classes. The teachers in the grade level have made me feel at home there, and I think it will be a great year. A friend of mine from church teaches third grade there, and will be returning from maternity leave in January I think. How fun. I also picked up a second job back at the Goddard School I worked at when we first moved to Virginia. I'm working there from 3:30-6:00 everyday. Not my first choice of things to do when I get off from a day of second graders, but there aren't many options.
Looking ahead, Jeremiah and I are beyond antsy for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Particularly, Christmas. We're currently making red and green color-coded lists of things we need to do or get for the holidays and are debating when to officially kick off Christmas music and movies. Get excited!
On this Halloween evening I'll leave you with a handful of pictures from the month, ending with sweet KangaRuby. We were very happy to be the first stop on her first ever trick-or-treating experience. Mom, are you ready for grandkids?

This is me and my dear friend Katie, who now lives in Texas with her husband, Cory. I was so happy to be able to spend time with them after not seeing them for over a year!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Bring on Fall

Although you wouldn't know it by the forecast, fall is upon us in Richmond. To help usher in the season, my dear friend Jordan invited me to come along with her and her friend CJ to the Chesterfield Berry Farm. There's a lot of random family fun to have, like corn cannons and pig races, and you may also take a short hayride to the pumpkin patch. Other than the fact that Jordan had to pull over to the side of the road so I could barf on the way there, it was a great afternoon! Keep my random sickness in mind as you view the discoloration of my face in the pictures. A semi-unfortunate thing about the Berry Farm's festive goodness was that it cost $12.00 to get in, plus you had to pay for your pumpkin. Kind of a rip-off, particularly for those of us who don't have little kids to enjoy all of the amenities.  Other than that, a good time was had by all! Don't you love my pumpkin? Typical me. It's called a Red Warted Thing. 

Monday, September 21, 2009

Roommate Reunion

This past weekend I traveled solo to Hershey, Pennsylvania (Sarah's house) for a little reunion with my roommates from college. I was so sad to have missed the annual get-together last December, so I was looking forward to this one. It was incredibly refreshing to spend time with these ladies! Unfortunately, our dear friend Jordan wasn't able to make the trip so it wasn't exactly the same; however, the five of us had such an enjoyable time. We talked and laughed for hours on end. Hysterically laughed. I haven't done that in awhile and it felt so good. Here is a picture we took right before we parted ways (Erica, me, Casey, Sarah, and Kristy). And yes, I did look nicer for church, but changed right away to jeans for the five hour car ride home.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Santa Beard Debate

Dear Jeremiah had a wonderful idea that came upon him like a thief in the night about a week or two ago. A "wonderful" idea.
He thinks it would be so great not to shave until after Christmas. This way, he will have a beard approximate in length and fullness to that of Santa's. And if that weren't glorious enough, he wants to take it a step (well, I'd say a bit more than a step further) and dye that beard white so that he can dress up like and pretend to be Santa for his cousin's daughter, Ruby, during the holiday season.
Let's all pause for a moment and really take this in.

Not a chance I said. I've been through 'No Shave November' and I undoubtedly suffered through 'Manchu March' but I will in no way have my 23 year old husband traipsing around looking like Father Christmas. We have had a few sarcastic debates here and there concerning the issue, but I thought we all agreed this was some weird fantasy of his that will never actually play out in reality, until maybe his hair takes on a natural white color.

But this morning, I wake up to this...

Jeremiah has influenced his new students, less than two weeks into the school year, to win my favor for the Santa beard. Folks, I'm going to need your help on this. Wasn't the Christmas card photo appalling enough last year? Please deter my husband from this crazed aspiration. 

PS. I just noticed he has a student named Cynamon.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pittsburgh Wedding

This past weekend, Jeremiah and I traveled six and a half plus hours north to Pittsburgh, PA for the wedding of Ben Follett and Amanda Bishop. Ben is our dear friend from Penn State, and we have known Amanda since college, even though she went to JMU. Although the car rides were less than pleasant for me, the weekend was so great. A few of us stayed at our friend's parents house where we were able to catch up around a campfire with smores, around a vat of buffalo chicken dip, and around a pastry-lover's dream of a breakfast table. It's always so refreshing to be with good friends again. The wedding was a blast, too! Our table was rather obnoxious, but big fun. Oh, I forgot! Cameron was there too, and he was at my table! At the reception, Ben and Amanda made it known that in order for them to kiss your table had to sing a song with the word 'love' in it, as opposed to kissing on command from the clanging glasses. We were rather into it. Here are a few pictures of friends. The big group picture is all Penn State friends! (And yes, I re-wore the dress from Audrey's wedding, but get used to it because we still have two more weddings this fall!)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Hire My Sister

My sister, Chef Andria Koehler (graduate of The French Culinary Institute in New York City), is a pastry master. I just received these pictures via email from her of the cupcakes she did for her friend's son's first birthday this past weekend. Recognize a familiar children's story? Isn't it amazing?!? This is only a fraction of her abilities, and after seeing The Very Hungry Caterpillar creation I wonder why I haven't shared more of her previous creations. How culd you NOT hire her to make your next celebration absolutely perfect??

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Math in the Kitchen

I couldn't help posting this once I laid eyes on my husband's culinary strategy in the kitchen. Dear Jeremiah was making Tyler Florence's recipe for chili cheese dogs for the first time. The recipe calls for two and a half cups of ketchup. So Jeremiah, the mathematician, measured out two and a half cups of ketchup. Feast your eyes on the fraction addition. 

As they say, men are from Mars women are from Venus.
Oh, and the measuring paid off. The chili was quite a success.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Auf Wiedersehen Volkswagen

Last Friday we said our final goodbyes to my dear red Volkswagen Golf. I had only had that car for two years; however, the final year of our time together was absolutely wretched. The car was a lemon, being taking in for hundreds of dollars worth of work just about every six to eight weeks. The final straw was when the left headlight went out a couple weeks ago. We knew we were going to need to trade that money pit in soon, and had been browsing cars over the past month or so. The unfortunate part is that I still owed almost $7,000 on the Volkswage, which became negative equity in buying a new car. Bummer. Luckily they gave us a decent amount on the trade-in, but we still had a minimal budget for a new car. After several dealerships and many hours, we ended up with this 2005 PT Cruiser from Carmax. It's a nice looking car inside and out and has a little less than 36,000 miles. It was one of the least expensive cars we looked out, but in the best condition. We didn't have our eye on a PT Cruiser, but it was the best we could get for our budget. I am getting over the feeling that we should be going into early retirement, or that people probably think we're driving to and from the old folks' home when they see us out and about. It's a funny car, but we like it. Jeremiah calls it PT (Petey) Pablo, affectionately referring to it as the rapper we all came to know and love with his hit song "Raise Up." We're crossing our fingers for years of use out of this one.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Friends Weekend

To round-off our northern getaway, we reunited with a group of friends from Penn State. All thirteen of us spent the weekend in Yardley, PA for a whole lot of swimming, Phillies, and sarcasm. It was great to be able to see everyone and Jeremiah was especially grateful for a couple days with his closest guy friends. 
I've posted a few pictures from the game on Saturday night. Before the game we had a lavish tailgate next to the stadium. As you might be able to tell, our seats during the game were rather high up. In fact, we were in the very last row of the stadium. Yep, all the way to the top, and all the way back against the fence overlooking the parking lots. Thank goodness I'm not terrified of heights. And thank goodness the Phillies were several games ahead of the teams behind them in the rankings prior to the unfortunate series outcomes.

My two favorite men.

The gentlemen: Dan, Mark, Ben, Cameron, Ben, and Jeremiah

The ladies: Me, Kristin, Amanda, Shannon, Christine, Lauren, and Ashleigh

The Village Greens

While visiting Pennsylvania we took a  trip to Strasburg (two hours away from my parents house, near Lancaster) for the sole purpose of showing off our mini golf skills at the one and only Village Greens. My parents and sister took the day off on Friday so we could all revisit this place of wonderful childhood memories. There's no question this is the best miniature golf venue this side of the Mississippi. There are beautiful landscapes and challenging holes--an aspiring putter's dream. I have a tendency to become very impatient and frustrated while putting, but managed to hold my own this time around, even though I came in dead last. I'm proud to say I came under par on the last half of the course, a feat that only I accomplished. This tells you just how awful I played the first nine. And my dear brother insisted we all have golfer's names.

Diego, Benny, and Skip

Judy (Ju-Ju), Sally, and Jane

Awkward timed family photo #1

Awkward timed family photo #2

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Audrey and Tory's Wedding

One of the many reasons Jeremiah and I came up north for over a week was to attend Audrey and Tory's wedding in Tamaqua, PA. Audrey is one of my friends and roommates from Penn State. Their wedding was outside at Tory's tree farm and it was absolutely beautiful. You can see some of the landscape below. The reception was outside under a big tent, surrounded by barns, tractors, and trees. Fun! How fitting that they were introduced at the reception to the song, "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy." 

Two of my dearest friends, Kristy and Jordan.

Here are a bunch of Penn State girls with the bride. Jordan, Andrea, me, Audrey, Kristy, Casey, and our old Bible study leader, Leslie.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Trip Down Memory Lane

After our incredible trip to the Virginia Safari Park we had a couple other stops to make. 
What's very cool is that Jeremiah realized the park is minutes away from a little town called Glasgow and a little place called Natural Bridge where he spent about a year and a half of his life (his beginning high school years). Matt and Kristy were gracious enough to take a peek into Jeremiah's past with us. 
It was really neat to be able to see and learn a bit more about Jeremiah's childhood and where he's come from. Glasgow, although a slightly cute town, is really hard to imagine. It is very very small and kind of seems to take you back in time (even more so than Montrose). There is one grocery store, one fire department, and a bunch of churches, all of which look like they are straight from the 1930s. I wish I had taken more pictures, but here are a couple of Jeremiah's old house and the church where his dad worked...

When we were finished our driving tour of Glasgow, we had reservations at the Natural Bridge Hotel for dinner. We ate in the Colonial Dining Room, the place where Jeremiah worked as a busser and head buffet runner. We gorged on their famous Friday night seafood buffet special and it was delicious. Crab legs and fried seafood abound. The hotel is located next to the Natural Bridge itself, a well-known stone structure formed like a bridge due to erosion and other natural causes (hence, natural bridge). Apparently, it's one of the 7 wonders of the world or one of the 7 ancient wonders of the world. Whatever it is, it's big.