Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas in Canada

(no pictures, our camera flash broke so we had to send it in, sorry!)

This year was Mike's family's "turn" for Christmas. We got to Seattle on Monday afternoon and grabbed some lunch before shopping at an outlet mall for an hour (we limited it to one hour so the boys didn't get bored) :-) and then headed North.

Most of our week was spent hanging around the house (boo for Christmas colds) but we did get lots of family time in and got to hang out with several of Mike's friends from home. Oh, and hockey, we watched lots of hockey. :-)

We got home Tuesday night, we even ended up catching an earlier flight home which was great because we had a three-seat row to ourselves (an Economy plus row at that!) and didn't have to deal with the 20 minute delay that our original flight had because of the snow. Mike did have to go back to the airport the next morning to get our bag but it was so nice to be home earlier - with or without our bag!

So yeah, that's it. Kinda boring but oh so relaxing and nice to spend time with family!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pre-Christmas

Yes, yes, I know, it has been awhile. I do have a reason - I don't like to broadcast when I'm going to be out of town. :-)

We had a great Christmas in Vancouver with Mike's family but man was it an exhausting few days leading up to our flight North. We left the Monday before Christmas but in the 4 days prior to that, my Grandad ended up visiting the ER and then returning to the hospital for a 5 day stay. I knew he would be fine so I wasn't too nervous about leaving town but was still a little anxious.

My brother, and later my Dad, came and stayed at our house to help my grandparents and it ended up being a big blessing to us since we'd have someone watching our house for a few extra days (even though we had wonderful friends who were already planning on checking on the house and the cat), someone to take us to the airport, etc., etc.

Long story short, after juggling some minor logistics, Grandad came home from the hospital in time for Christmas, Mike and I had a good time in Vancouver, the house, dog, and cat were all well watched during our trip and bonus, we didn't have to pay for parking at the airport since my parents were here when we got back. :-)

More on Christmas later! :-)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!


Christmas blessings to you and yours!

Isaiah 9:6 - "For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given....And he will be called Wonderful Couselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thankful Thursdays

I'm thankful:
  • that Christmas is just around the corner.
  • that more people seem to be "getting" Christmas (www.adventconspiracy.org)
  • that tomorrow is the last day of work for two weeks.
  • for the ability and opportunity to help friends
  • for friends who help us so we can help friends (it's a beautiful thing, isn't it?)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Nester's Tour of Homes

Christmas Tour of Homes with The Nester

Yay! I can't tell ya'll how excited I am to see everyone's Christmas decorations!

In the mean time, welcome to our home!

I took this picture a few nights ago - it looks like it was snowing but it wasn't even close. I guess I need to clean the lens on my camera! :-)

Here's the house lit up with our outside lights. We have candle lights in every window - I love the way it looks. We're going to put more lights up next year, we realized this year that we needed a little more outside.

Our Christmas wreath on the front door.
Our mantel - I don't light the candles very often but it looks so pretty when I do.

Our tree all lit up! I still love how well my tree skirt turned out.
Some of our Christmas ornaments - the pineapple my Dad and brothers brought us from Colonial Williamsburg; the Swarovski tree, holly, and snowflake some family friends gave us as a wedding gift; the ornament we got in Hawaii on our Honeymoon; the fishing moose from our road trip to Grand Teton Nat'l Park and beyond; one from NYC that friends sent us after we couldn't find one when we were there (in June); and every Texas girl needs a cowboy boot on her tree! :-) Mike and I try to get a Christmas ornament wherever we travel - it makes for wonderful memories and lots of fun when we pick them out together.


The platter on the bar next to the tree - a dear friend gave it to us as a wedding gift and it makes me smile every time I look at it.
A poinsettia (99 cents from Lowes on Black Friday - my only purchase that day) on the table next to the couch with an angel figurine that Mike's Mom gave me the first Christmas we were married.
The shelves above the couch.


The bell that hangs from the chandelier over the dining room. I took the picture before I added the poinsettia to the center of the table and to the corner shelf.

A snowflake candle holder in the guest bathroom.
We also have glass balls and tons of berry picks all over the house in random places. I've seen several tutorials online for these magazine Christmas trees so I made a few the other day - they're very cute!

We do have a little tree in our basement. My grandparents gave me $20 before I went back to school at Thanksgiving my senior year of college. I lived in an apartment style dorm that year and knew we needed a little tree (even if it only had lights and a ribbon tree topper). My Mom added the lantern lights to the tree a few years ago when they had the tree up in their basement.


That's it! I can't wait to see everyone's decorations and get ideas for next year!

Have a very blessed and Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Bathroom Blahs

Our bathroom is pretty straightforward - bath, shower, sinks, toilet. We painted the bathroom after we moved in but I hadn't found anything that I liked to hang on the walls that wouldn't be impacted by the steam.

Today, I think I finally found the right thing! Hobby Lobby's wall decor was 50% off and I saw two "ceiling tiles" that I thought would work.

I'm not sure the brown is the right color but it does tie in to the comforter we have on our bed. I figured the worst thing that could happen is I end up repainting them to the right color but for the time being, I'm glad there's something on the wall. I want to get a basket to put on the back of the toilet for extra rolls of toilet paper or something - we'll see.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thankful Thursdays

I'm thankful for:
  • new perspectives
  • my warm bed
  • a roof over my head
  • my cozy house, decorated for Christmas
  • time with friends tomorrow night
  • the REASON for the Season

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Merry Christmas to You (from Kelly's Korner & BooMama)

***EDIT - I didn't read close enough the first time around - NieNie and MckMama were also given the chance to give an HP TouchSmart so make sure you check out their blogs, too!



For anyone who needs or might need a new computer soon (or knows someone who will) - Kelly at Kelly's Korner and BooMama have giveaways for a new HP Touchsmart computer. How cool is that?!?

Go check out Kelly's site to enter!

OR


Sunday, December 6, 2009

More Than Christmas Gifts

To go along with the Advent Conspiracy, I thought it might be a neat idea to share some Christmas gifts that also give to someone in need in some way, shape, or form.

Of course, there are TOMS. For every pair of shoes purchased, they give a pair to someone who needs them. How cool is that?!

If you want something a little more "springy" - there are Sseko's. A group of women in Africa make these shoes, learn about business, hard work and so much more. The cool thing about the actual sandals is that you can change out the straps.

The beads on these necklaces are made out of paper. Again, women in Africa make these necklaces and benefit from their sales. Several of my friends who have traveled to Africa have necklaces like these and they are so pretty!

Five Strand Necklace

I know there are LOTS of other organizations/companies who do similar things - these are just a few of the ones that I'm aware of. In the spirit of giving but focusing on the REAL meaning of Christmas, I can't help but think if you can find a way to give to multiple people in some way at the same time, why not?

If you know of other organizations like the ones above - I'd love to hear about them!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

O Christmas Tree

I can't wait to see all of the Christmas tree's on Kelly's this week! Hop on over and check them out for yourself.

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

Now, without further adieu, here's our tree!

Nothing too big or spectacular to add to this year's tree. (I took the picture pre-new rug) We got 4 new ornaments during our road trip this summer (one from each of the following places: Grand Canyon, Redwood Forrest, Grand Tetons, and Yellowstone) and of course, the tree skirt that I made.

I love our Christmas ornament theme - each ornament has a story to it. Most of them are gifts from friends (yay for getting married close to Christmas) or ones that we get from the places we visit (we have ornaments from our honeymoon in Hawaii, trips to New Mexico, Canada). I guess our theme is "things we've done together" and I love it.

Merry Christmas!

Thankful Thursdays

This week I'm thankful for:
  • the cold weather. It's crazy, I know but everything about the Christmas season fits so well together.
  • two weeks of work until Christmas
  • laughter (always)
  • getting things done
  • homemade egg nog lattes

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Amen

If you haven't heard about Nie, you need to read her blog. She's pretty cool (from what I can tell of her blog, at least.)

I REALLY like her post today.

To GOD be the glory, great things HE hath done.

Monday, November 30, 2009

For the Geek in your life (or in yourself)

I couldn't help but laugh when I checked the mail today and saw a catalog from ThinkGeek.com. I had never heard of it before but apparently Mike had and was excited to see what they had. We looked through the catalog during dinner and I had to share some of my favorite items. :-)

This reminded me of the episode of The Office where Jim hid Andy's cell phone in the ceiling. Oh the fun that could be had.


I'm not sure how you can smell like Star Wars but apparently this will do it...

This takes the air guitar concept to a whole new level:

There are so many other fun and HILARIOUS things at this website - you have to go check it out!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Very Happy Thanksgiving

Our house is SO quiet now. My brothers were here for a week and my parents had been here since Wednesday but they all left this morning and Mike and I are relaxing and trying to get over the sniffles that we have before we go back to work tomorrow.

We had a wonderful week with our family here. Between the food and the Wii my parents brought with them, family pictures, seeing friends, and just enjoying each other's company - we had a blast.

Here are pictures of the highlights! (I can't get any of the pictures to rotate for some reason - sorry!)

The new candle holder my parents brought us from Chicago.

Breakfast on Thanksgiving morning - pumpkin bread!

The centerpiece on the table.


Ready for Thanksgiving dinner.


My parents and I got up at 5:30 on Black Friday to get 99 cent poinsettias at Lowe's. (that otherwise would have been between 4 & 8 dollars each depending on where we got them) We got 18 between our homes. Yep, we're funny like that.


The wreath I decorated for our front door.


We got our Christmas card from Aspen Boutique this weekend too!


And finally - a little late but here are the flowers Mike got me for our anniversary. :-)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful Thursdays

How appropriate that Thanksgiving falls on a Thursday:

I'm thankful for:
  • my husband
  • my family
  • my friends
  • my home
  • food on my table
  • my, and my family's, health
  • my job
  • Mike's job
  • laughter
  • MY SAVIOR
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Whew!

I really need to work at taking more pictures to put on here but for right now, oh well. :-)

My brothers got here Sunday. We've been going non-stop ever since. We've spent time with my grandparents, shopped for groceries, checked on a friend's house that we're watching (and found out it had been broken into), cooked, talked, laughed and now we're all ready for my parents to get here in a few hours so we can celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow.

Whew - I'm going to need a vacation after this vacation! :-)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

One of my favorite things

One of my favorite little things during Christmas is the Christmas cards we get from Aspen Boutique (formerly Aspen Traders). This store is just two blocks from the house I grew up in and they have always been known for their amazing Christmas cards.

The guy that designs the cards had this post on his blog last year - it brought back so many memories of the cards we got when I was growing up. Last year, I got one addressed to me and it put a huge smile on my face.

Here's to the little things that make Christmas so magical.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Show Us Your Pets!

We're showing off the furry part of our families at Kelly's today!

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

Mike and I have two. We consider the cat, Pepper, his - since he's more of a cat person than I am.

We got Pepper when we went to the Humane Society to get a dog. Yep, went for a dog and came home with a cat. We saw her bouncing off the walls in the cage they had her in and we loved her spunk so home she came.

Lily was my Christmas present last year and she has been so much fun to be around. I don't think I'll ever be able to have any kind of dog other than a bichon. My family had one for 15 years and now Lily is the perfect fit for us. The first picture is from the night we brought her home, the second is a few days later after Pepper got used to her being around. :-)




Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful Thursdays

This week I'm thankful for:
  • mistakes that aren't really mistakes but that help you learn
  • having all of next week off
  • my family coming next week
  • God knowing what I'm going to need before I even have a clue
  • Christmas music on the radio 24/7

Monday, November 16, 2009

Happy 2 Years!


To the man who:

-makes me laugh
-puts of with my quirks
-supports me
-takes care of me
-loves me
-makes me feel like I can take on the world

Happy Anniversary! Here's to two years and MANY more to come!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thankful Thursdays

SO SO SO much to be thankful for (as always)

  • sweet neighbors who cut our prairie grass down for us. We didn't cut it down enough last year so it was a bad mix of green and brown for most of this year but won't be this year!
  • Mike - a given but yesterday he made dinner and twice rubbed my neck and shoulder down with Icy Hot because my neck was in serious pain for some reason
  • getting everything done at work when I wasn't quite sure I was going to (and wonderful coworkers who are AMAZING help)
  • God taking care of this sweet little man. Never met him, or any of his family for that matter, but people all over the world have raised him up in prayer. I can't wait to see what God has in store for him!
  • relaxing nights at home, laying on the couch, enjoying the sight of our Christmas tree lit up and our new rug on the floor with Lily and Pepper running around providing entertainment
  • our first holiday at home. My family will be at our house this Thanksgiving and I'm so excited (and anxious and nervous because I want everyone to have a good time and because I'm going to do a lot of the cooking!) :-)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy Early Anniversary to Us!

Our anniversary is still a week away but our gift to each other came early - we finally got our rug! We think it looks great and it makes the upstairs feel so much cozier and sound so much quieter.

Yay! :-)



Monday, November 9, 2009

A Home Run

As MckMama said in her post, Stellan, his Doctors and our awesome Heavenly Father hit a home run today.

Please continue to keep this family in your prayers!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

28 Years

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful parents. Thank you for teaching me how to love the Lord, be a good daughter, sister, friend, wife, and so much more.

Love you guys!

(I really need a picture of my parents on their wedding day but this will have to do) :-)

Bummer

You know those times that you wait so long for something that when you finally get it and it doesn't meet up to what you expected it to be?

After 4 or 5 years of waiting to get this coat, or at least something similar, that's the feeling I have right now. The search continues. :-)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Thanksgiving Traditions


Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

I can't wait to see what recipes and traditions everyone has at Kelly's this week!

No picture for this one but believe me, you'd go running to the store to buy the ingredients if you could see it.

This is my Great Granny's cranberry salad and my brothers and I will riot if it's not on the table at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Great Granny always asked us for some "sugar" (kisses and hugs) when we saw her and this recipe fits the idea of sugar very well. :-)

Great Granny's Cranberry Salad

1 bag of cranberries, chopped
1 cup sugar
1 pint of whipping cream
1 bag of marshmallows

The night before you plan to serve the dish, mix the chopped cranberries and sugar and chill over night. The next day, whip up the whipping cream and add it and the marshmallows to the cranberries and sugar. Mix it all up and enjoy!

We usually double the recipe because it gets better in the days after Thanksgiving and Christmas and we eat a lot of it! :-)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thankful Thursdays

I'm thankful for:
  • the fun weekend Mike and I had with my family
  • the fun weekend we're going to have with Mike's brother, Jeff
  • the opportunity I had to go see Wicked on Sunday (might be silly to be thankful for that but it was fun)
  • the little things
  • good laughs

Monday, November 2, 2009

A New Kind of Christmas

Yep, my Christmas decorations are up and in honor of that, I wanted to share something that has helped me remember what Christmas is truly about.

I had the honor at working at an amazing church in the St. Louis for almost two years after I graduated from college. The job was a blessing in so many ways - I learned how to "do conflict" in a healthy way, I was blessed to make friends young and old that I will hold near to my heart for the rest of my life, and I now get to say that I had the opportunity to be a VERY small part in an amazing way to remind people of CHRISTmas as it should be.

You've got to check it out!



Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thankful Thursdays

This week I'm thankful for:
  • the road next to our house being close to done. Yep, I said that a few months ago but jumped the gun by a long shot. They're FINALLY putting the top layer of asphalt on so the road and lip of the curb are even. YAY!
  • My parents are coming to visit this weekend.
  • I get to start putting my Christmas decorations up on Sunday. Yes, I decorate that early. :-)
  • The fact that 26 years ago today, my wonderful husband was born. Happy Birthday, Mike! Love you!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Working on It

There are days I think I talk too much. I've been reminded of that fact or feeling (whether it actually be true, or just in my head) a few times lately and I'm trying to remind myself to just be quiet.

My prayer is that God make my words His and that I am intentional in what I say. If it's at work, or at the grocery store, I need to listen more and talk less.

I'm working on it.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Weekend Highlights

Highlight #1

I found eggnog at the grocery store which means I can start enjoying eggnog lattes!



Highlight #2

A wonderful nap this afternoon.


Highlight #3

Organizing "my part" of the storage room so that next weekend, I can start decking the halls. :-)


Highlight #4

Getting our new recycling bin on Friday. Yep, get excited people. We switched trash companies so we could have a recycling program. The coolest part is that we get rewards for recycling. They weigh our bin each time they pick it up and we get points based on the weight. From there, we can redeem our points for coupons and gift cards. YEAH!!!


Highlight #5

Spending time with Mike. Even if Paul Blart: Mall Cop ended up being FAR less funny than we anticipated. To the point we shut it off about half way through.


Hope ya'll had a great weekend!