If you looked at my to-do list, you’d see in the “Personal” category that I’ve been meaning to blog about no less than 9 different adventures and topics for the past few months. But, as you might have noticed, life has just gotten in the way of all that and it hasn’t happened.

So instead of pretending that there’s a likely chance of me writing individual posts about all that we’ve been up to, I decided to spend time putting lots of pictures up for you to see and write a shorter post that includes more of a list of what we’ve been up to. Maybe I’m just not meant to be a traditional blogger. 🙂

So – check out lots of pictures here of our adventures, and here’s some quick descriptions of the fun:

  • We went Bioluminescent kayaking on the recommendation of Jeni Frudden, and it was really cool! Basically, there are organisms in the water at Tomales Bay that light up when disturbed, so if you are on the water at night you can literally make the water glow by moving your hand or paddle through it. Definitely one of those “you should do this once in your life” type of experiences.
  • In the “Putting Food in Jars” category, the following things have been made recently: apple butter and apple sauce while we were in Tahoe with Casey and Galen, apple pie filling made to give away as holiday gifts (with apples that we picked ourselves), three-citrus marmalade with Lynn and Marc, and roasted red pepper spread.
  • I’ve also gotten interested in making more homemade holiday gifts this year (I blame Pinterest), so I’ve so far made some lemon sugar hand scrub and started painting some kitchen towels.
  • We took a truly amazing trip to Big Sur to camp for the weekend with Steve and Sierra – a little hiking, a little cooking, a little waterfall viewing, a little reading, a little hanging out in a bar when it got rainy – it was perfect. The best part, I think we’d all agree, was when we went at midnight to the Esalen Institute to enjoy their natural hot spring pools that are right on the cliff overlooking the Pacific coast. The stars were gorgeous, and it was a very cool experience.
  • We went up for a final visit to Eatwell Farm for the chili party – made two different types of chili to bring home and freeze.
  • We’ve been planning for and saving for “Location TBD” international vacation to celebrate Jon’s grad school graduation in May 2012 (we’re also aware that we’re nearing the time in our lives when babies will be a reality, so we’re trying to enjoy big trips like this now before we take a few years to focus on little ones), and we’ve finalized our spot! We’re going to South Africa. We haven’t planned a single detail beyond that, but we will find some time during upcoming holiday days off to get crackin’ on some of that planning.
  • I’ve been twice to events hosted by Wine and Canvas – once with Melissa and once with Sierra – and had a really good time both times. I’m far from being a decent artist, so it’s nice that their staff make it easy to come up with something that looks OK.
  • Jon and I took our annual Auburn trip for the AU vs. Florida game (we won!) and had a really fantastic time. We rented a house in Opelika to stay at and tailgate from, and that turned out to be a great decision I think. It was a fun trip to get to see our friends and meet baby Patrick!
  • After several months of remodeling and construction, our apartment building finally has a really nice courtyard that we can use to host friends at so we celebrated it being completed by having an October BBQ that was really fun.
  • We spent a weekend in Tahoe with Casey and Galen where we did a little hanging out on the beach, made apple butter and apple sauce, grilled a really fantastic dinner, broke and then fixed the garbage disposal, and picked apples in Placierville on the way home.
  • The half-marathon training is going well so far – I’m actually heading out after this post is finished to run 7 miles (crossing my fingers that I avoid the rain). My biggest challenge continues to be boredom, which is compounded by my being the slowest runner in the world.
  • Our car sadly has neared the end of its life and has a bad transmission that we’re not interested in fixing again (it’s been rebuilt twice), so it’s time to say goodbye to the 96 Honda Accord. We spent a few weekends researching and buying a new one! We settled on a used 201o Kia Optima that we LOVE. It’s been one of my proudest moments – we’ve been saving for this car for a few years now and we were able to pay for it in cash and have no car payments. Cars just drive better when they’re paid off, don’t they?

So it’s been a busy and amazing few months – I’m loving the beginning of the holiday season and Christmas music!