Wednesday, December 19, 2012

small pleasures

Have you ever really watched someone make sushi?
It's an art. It's beautiful, it's fragrant, it's precise.
We finally found our sushi place, ya'll. It has happened.

It's called Wasabi, and it's a Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar.
It's actually about a 37 second drive from where I work on campus.
Which is a really big problem, if you know us at all.
We're easily derailed into food-related temptation.

It used to be a mediocre Mexican food restaurant, and it finally got remodeled into this fantastic spot.
It's pretty pricey, (we're keeping our fingers crossed for the development of a "Happy Hour" sushi night or something!) but it's really delicious and seems packed with new admiring customers! The place looks awesome, and the entire center of the place is dedicated to the Hibachi grills.
The sushi bar is off to the left, and it's really nice. The service was spectacular, and the sushi was delish.
It's possible we just haven't had good sushi in so long that we actually don't know how to tell if sushi is really good or not, but we liked it. A lot.
Which is why we went two nights in a row.

The Volcano Roll
Our sushi glows, ya idiots.
The Lynchburg Roll
On our second night, we decided to try a few different rolls!
The presentation is just lovely. It's art, like I said.

The No Name Roll and the night's special, The Phoebe Roll

We ordered the "Phoebe Roll" because of the jalapeno!

On both nights, we ordered little avocado rolls - which were divine, so smooth and fresh.

On our second night, the sushi chefs handed us each a bowl of fresh tuna and avocados with their specialty sauce drizzled on top!
He said, "for dessert" with a big smile on his face, "on the house".
By golly, don't mind if we do!

 It was a great weekend. We shook our bellies like bowls full of jelly.

T-minus TWO days until we're home for Christmas! :)

In love,

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas: The Sequel

We are one week away from our second Christmas together as a married couple!

As we reach this crazy milestone, I've become more intensely aware of the fact that we are halfway, halfway, through our time in Virginia.
I...I really...I have such mixed feelings. I now truly understand the confusion between belonging to two countries at once (because yes, I consider the east coast to be a different country to the west).

On December 12th, Dusty finished his last final of the semester and we were finally able to go out and spend some time together!
This was a doozy of a finals season. We realized it may be wiser to work a little extra during the semester to avoid two full weeks of all-nighters!
On top of having no sleep, we are in a serious weight-loss competition with Dusty's brother and has been neck-in-neck, so dieting + no sleep + stress + law studies = PSYCHOTIC BREAK.
Needless to say, we needed some serious R&R after it was all said and done!

So that Wednesday night, we headed to Isabella's for a you-deserve-bread-and-cheese-and-cream-and-yummy-fats celebration dinner.

We were STUFFED. Mostly because we had been starving for two weeks straight.
Oh and Dusty has a beard now. Courtesy of finals.

On one of the previous nights, we had stolen some time together to decorate the tree in between his study times.
I had put it up a few days before, but didn't want to hang the ornaments alone. It's a big deal to me, which is probably just because of how much my dad has always loved ornaments! Us kids always had our certain ones that we would hang every year.

This year, we had a handful of brand new ornaments from our travels!

We spread out our treasures,

Put on a Christmas episode of Friends, made some hot apple cider, and got to decorating!

Last year was our very first Christmas together. We decorated our little apartment, made some fun little traditions, and even had our own mock Christmas morning to exchange gifts to each other.
In light of being halfway through law school, I have found myself reminiscing on where we were last year around this time, compared to now.



I'd say we got a little carried away with our decorations this year!

Hanging our first ornament!

Last year, we designated the Saturday before we left for Arizona to be our time together, our own "Christmas morning".
It was so fun!

After we made a mess of things and opened all the presents, we had a brilliant idea to have breakfast in our pajamas.
Since we didn't want to make breakfast, we headed to IHOP, pajama-clad and smiling!

This year, we kept the magic alive. But a lot has changed around the apartment!
We even had a "Christmas Eve", where we each got to open one gift.

Christmas Morning came along:

After we opened our presents, I decided to give Dusty an anniversary gift early.

I got him a vintage Guess Who game!
Not wanting to try and figure out a way to pack it and give it to him in Arizona on our actual anniversary, I gave it to him on our "Christmas morning".

Guess Who is one of the silliest and best parts of our dating relationship. For some reason, it was our favorite game to play together. And Dusty always won. 
I know it's hard to believe, but one time, we opened up the game, picked our cards, and he guessed who I had on the first try. He just yelled out a name and it was right.
Trust me. I was there.
In any case, they don't make the 1987 version anymore, so I found it used on Ebay. Now we have our very own! And we may have started a new Christmas morning Guess Who tournament tradition.
Which led to us being famished, and ready for pajama IHOP :)

We leave for Arizona in THREE days. It seems unreal that time has gone by so quickly, and that so much has changed since we first moved here.
We have invested in incredible friendships, creating lifelong relationships and fun memories. We've made our awkward apartment into a comfortable home, that's completely weird and quirky and totally us...we've grown in our relationship, loving and supporting each other in the most difficult of times. And we've gotten fat from food and happiness and silliness (thus enters the weight-loss competition).
But overall, it has been a wonderful year and a half. We are so excited to go celebrate the holidays with our families, and offer up cheers to a brand new year.
Unless the world ends on Friday.
But we'll play it by ear.

Oh yeah, and this is our apartment right now.

That's what happens when Dusty isn't in school anymore.

I don't think I've EVER been as Christmas-spirit-filled as I am this year.

In love,