Chinese New Year

Last night, we celebrated Chinese New Year with the Nyes.  We held a CNY party last year with them, too, and I think this has already become a yearly ‘must-do.’

Mrs. Nye and I grab all our Asian cookbooks, our hot beverages of choice (coffee for me, tea for her) and we sit at her kitchen table and plan the menu.  This year, I joined them on a trip up to Amherst to visit an Asian grocer to pick up fortune cookies and lucky money envelopes.



This year, we had: white and fried rice, chicken lo-mein, beef and broccoli, egg rolls, shrimp with snow peas, beets with chili garlic sauce and scallops over tropical fruit.




Mrs. Nye and I manned (or WOmanned) the stove, side by side, to stir-fry everything at the last minute.



Even Andrew made an appearance to lend a hand, if only to take a photo or two.


I’ve already started a list of dishes for nest year’s feast…


happy birthday, carolyn

We celebrated Carolyn’s birthday (which is actually today) on the Fourth due to scheduling conflicts.  How could just a handful of people be so busy we couldn’t spare a random Wednesday night?  I don’t know, either.

Anyway, we had a birthday dinner for her at Andrew’s parents’ house.  The kid-Layers are all going to P. F. Chang’s for another celebratory dinner tonight–bring on the lettuce wraps!

Ben and Andrew’s dad dressed alike.  It was cute.  And the tablecloth zipped onto the table (around the pole for the umbrella)–how neat!

Note my reddish lips–not sure how I feel about it yet.  A post on new makeup colors will be coming soon.  (I know you’re all waiting with baited breath.)

You can’t see them very well, but Carolyn’s candles were animal-print striped.  She was a fan.

Presents!  (You’d think it was Abigail’s birthday with all the pink around…)

Showing off some of her new goodies.  Grandma did well with the purse 🙂

After presents, a walk in the woods and a quick game of KanJam, we headed down to the creek in the back of the yard for a fire.

Abigail with her “horsey.”

Andrew’s mom had gotten a couple boxes of sparklers on her last trip to Indiana (selling fireworks is illegal in New York).

We roasted marshmallows for s’mores.  I’m not a big marshmallow fan, but roast ’em and mix ’em with chocolate and I’m in!

The girls and Andrew started having fun with the sparklers and the camera.  Andrew’s a pretty good amateur photographer, so he was able to adjust the camera settings to get some really great shots.

Next, they thought it would be an awesome picture to get their names written with the sparklers.  It took a couple tries to get the timing right…

If only her name were Carol…

The gazillionth try was a winner!

Thankfully, my name is a bit shorter, so it didn’t take too long to get an OK shot.

If you can believe it, this picture took TEN SECONDS to shoot.  Seriously, the shutter was open for that long and we had enough time to write our names and actually move in the shot, which you can see above.

Next, Andrew experimented with the fire.  Here it is taken in an automatic shot:

Here is another shot taken with a VERY short (1/300th of a second) shutter speed:

VERY different.  I’m excited to carve some time out and peruse the photography books I have so I can take great photos like Andrew.  (How cheesy does that sound?!)

Remember those marshmallows?  I may have overdone it in the s’mores department…

I’m holding my hands out because they are covered in chocolate and marshmallows, and apparently some chocolate missed my mouth…

Happy Belated Birthday

My birthday was last Friday.  Also on Friday we had Heather’s promotion, then our “Bon Voyage Bash” and then Andrew and I went out of town Saturday and Sunday.  Memorial Day was spent sleeping in (until 7:15 for me!), getting the house ready for the inspection, a final Rita’s trip with Heather and Maggie, then a BBQ with friends.  Tuesday was Heather’s goodbye lunch, then our home inspection, then goodbye to Heather (sniff).

So, basically what I’m saying is, I’ve only just now come up for air.

Emily’s birthday was last Friday, too.  We’re “Irish Twins one year removed.”  At least that’s what I’ve decided to call us.

Look!  Heather was making cookies…yum!

OK, break for air is over.  Next up: house-hunting trip in East Aurora!