Holidays with the Barrows

5:59 PM









Let me begin with apologizing for the lateness of this post. I'm such a procrastinator. The more time and events that went by, the more I wanted to put this off, because I knew how much I had to make up for. Because of there being so much to catch up on, I might not be as detailed as usual. But here we go.

Let's begin with...October. *Cringe.* That was a while ago.

This year has been special, as it is our first year married, and we get to spend each holiday together, creating traditions that we will continue for years to come (hopefully). Since it was our first Halloween married, we wanted to make it special, go to a pumpkin patch, ride on the tractor's trailer out to the field...the whole nine yards. 

A client informed me about his pumpkin patch and invited me to come. He told me about their scary corn maze and the green chili they farm (green chili is a big hit out here). It was the only patch we could find in Roswell, so we decided to go after work that Friday. We did not want to wait until it was dark for the "scary" part of the maze, because we are party-poopers and want to be home and going to bed by that time. 

We pulled up at the farm and asked where we go to hitch a ride to the pumpkin patch. It turns out they were being smart business-people and didn't have the tractor running on that Friday evening. We felt bad for the family next to us with little kids, who asked if they could walk the 20 minutes out there and had their Halloween hopes crushed.


The corn maze is what we had to settle with. In the light of day, the excitement was pretty absent, but we made the best of it. We got to see behind-the-scenes, where they had everything placed and watched them preparing for that night.
A couple days later, we went in search of the perfect pumpkins. From Walmart. We ended up uncovering the perfect pair from near the bottom of the cardboard bin. Pumpkin carving tools were found down the holiday aisle, so we added a set to our cart and checked out.

Thanks to Pinterest, I had a collection of carving templates, ready to be printed. Tinkerbell was my choice, and we found a Lineman on a pole for Spencer. We damaged half of our kit almost immediately. As they say, you get what you pay for. We had to trade in our bent professional pokers for tacks, which were much more efficient.

We enjoyed making a big mess and lit up cinnamon-scented candles inside.
The actual weekend of Halloween, I was out of state, working in Florida. But I made sure to have enough food and treats at home for Spence. I baked chocolate-chip banana bread and pumpkin pie, which lasted him the whole weekend.

Good enough for October... Moving on.

My parents and brothers visited over Thanksgiving week! This was the highlight of the month. We had them for just under a week. Going so long without seeing family is tough, when you are used to visiting every other day. My parents stayed in a hotel five minutes away, and my brothers bunked in our spare room. They brought with them four bags of mandarins from sunny California. If anyone else comes to visit, feel free to do the same.

We took them to see Carlsbad Caverns and the sights along the road (nothing). They loved it, and were impressed with it's size. Definitely a must see for anyone who wishes to come visit. Being the day before Thanksgiving, there was hardly anyone there, it felt like we had the cave to ourselves. When Spencer and I went earlier in the year, it was packed.






Thanksgiving day we began on the tennis court. We didn't have quite enough rackets for everyone, but traded off, and the ones left out kicked the soccer ball over another net. Sports on Thanksgiving is something I grew up on, and wish to continue. Tennis is probably a first, though.

I had made a list, and Spencer and I had gone grocery shopping before they arrived. There was no running-to-the-grocery-store-last-minute to prepare for the meal. A pumpkin pie and banana cheesecake, I had finished the day before. Before we headed out to the tennis court Thanksgiving day, I threw some potatoes in a large crock pot with other ingredients for later mashing and mixed together green beans and sauce in our smaller one.

This was our first time hosting, and it so happens to be for Thanksgiving. No pressure. It turned out fabulous, though, and was much easier than I had anticipated, thanks to planning ahead. Spencer started marinating the turkey Sunday, and by the time he had it finished and cooked, my dad said it was the best turkey he had ever tasted. You could say I was pretty proud of my husband and his first turkey. The crock pots were a life saver, leaving only a few menu items to be sweat over. Spencer said stuffing was a must, so my mom assisted me in making the sausage variety. We also baked rolls, stirred up some gravy, poured sparkling cider and my mom made Jello. 

Spencer's Thanksgiving food baby
We have a two-person table with two chairs, so we weren't sure at first how we would make it work. Spencer's coworker saved the day, offering to let us borrow his long fold-up one. My parents also bought us a card table, with four chairs. That gave us a total of six chairs, plus a stool. With Spencer, myself, my parents, 3 brothers and Jake, we were still a seat short. So we arranged our living room to incorporate the couch for someone to sit on during the meal. We had cheesecake, pie, and homemade ice-cream for dessert after we had partially digested our feast.


I don't think this will be a Thanksgiving any of us will forget.






Black Friday we drove just north of town to an empty dirt patch (plenty of those 'round here) and brought our guns. We set up some paper targets, that were blown away with one shot, but made good use out of bowling pins left there by Spencer's coworker. That evening, we went to the theater to see The Mockingjay.

When you don't have enough earplugs...you make do.




Saturday, we went to our little free zoo, and hung out. They were not interested in Roswell's alien museum. Spencer and I haven't even been. It has that bad of a reputation. So we mostly just hung out the rest of the time. My mom got out her laptop and Googled laser tag in Roswell, NM, not taking my word for it when I said there was nothing like that in this town. Card games were played, boys were wrestled with, conversation ensued. It was a good visit. 
Bobcats be chillin'

Longhorn got mad when Spence got too close and tried to impale him.
A day or so before they left, I had just about enough of my brothers and their constant noise, but when it came time, I did not want to say goodbye. They stayed with us a day longer than we anticipated, in order to visit as long as possible. We can't wait to see them again. Goodbyes are hard. We don't regret leaving California, but can't wait until family meets up with us outside that fair-weather state.

I was feeling down after they left, so Spencer suggested we go get a Christmas tree. We shopped around and decided on an artificial 7 footer from Sam's Club. We picked up a box of ornaments and a star and headed home to light it up. Pandora provided us with Christmas music and Cassidy visited with us over Skype. Our tree looks pretty awesome, if I may say so. My parents left us with gifts, so we already had something to put under it. It looks a lot like Christmas in the Barrow home!






Spencer got me a .357 Magnum revolver yesterday. I love it! We are planning on testing it out Sunday at our "range" (dirt field with bowling pins). I am a weakling and couldn't rack the slide on his VP9, so I was impatient to get one I could function. The crime in Roswell is extremely high, and whenever Spence is gone and i'm home and hear a noise, I worry that we are being broken in to. So it is reassuring to know that i'm able to defend myself.

We spent last weekend in Florida, where I was asked back for more work (that makes twice in the last two months). It was Spencer's first time coming with me, and I was glad to have the company. I reckon we were sitting around 16 hours on Tuesday, when we flew home. what with waiting in airports, sitting in planes, and driving. The town we stayed in had a Christmas event going on one evening we were there with a parade, fake snow, bands and booths. We enjoyed walking around viewing it and eating out at nice restaurants. We flew in and out of El Paso, TX, where we payed $2.09 for gas!






It snowed here in November and stuck around for a few days. Spencer resembled a small child, rushing to put on a jacket and run outside. He is adorable and brings so much joy to life.







A few Saturdays ago, we walked over to Main Street to watch Roswell's Christmas Lights Parade. The best float by far was the hot air balloon baskets on a trailer, whose passengers turned the flames off and on.

Christmas is just around the corner, and we are just about ready. We will be spending this Christmas by ourselves, because it is our first year married and we want to focus on each other. Our families will be dearly missed, and we are hoping we will be able to visit next year for the holiday. 

Merry Christmas, everyone, and have a happy new year!
Passed out while researching...something (don't remember)




I married that.
Having to learn Spanish to speak to clients...
 Crochet work:



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