Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas


THE LORD HIMSELF WILL GIVE YOU A SIGN:
THE VIRGIN WILL BE WITH CHILD AND
WILL GIVE BIRTH TO A SON,
AND WILL CALL HIM IMMANUEL.

Isaiah 7:14


Thursday, December 22, 2011

thoughts so random it hurts

All the presents are wrapped and under the tree.  I have even cleaned up my gift staging area and gone through the Christmas bins to Goodwill the things I know I won't use next year.

I do however have 5 baskets of clean clothes in my bedroom that have been waiting all week to be put away.

Today I vowed to stop eating chips.

I haven't made it to the gym three days a week since July{hence the chip vow}.

Next week I vow to make it to the gym three days a week for the next 8 months.

In eight months Todd and I have our 20th High School reunion{I possibly need to stop eating more than chips}

Speaking of Toddy, today is our 11th Wedding Anniversary.

This is the text he sent me this morning. *Happy Anniversary. I love you, it has been bliss, and even when it wasn't I still loved you madly* Don't be mistaken people, this is romance at it's finest!

 {I love gingerbread houses.  This is Asher's creation}

I am possibly looking forward to taking down the Christmas decorations.

I want to repaint the entry way hallway so bad it's making me itch.

I'm thinking I should have bought myself a Panini press for Christmas.  I'm not sure why I think this.  I warned you these were random.  {yes, for the record, I did all the Christmas shopping for myself.  I'm as excited as the kids to rip open my gifts and I already know what they are!}

 {Starbucks ain't got nothing on me}

This morning on the way out of the gym{for the 2nd and last time this week} Sloan and I opened the door for the very interesting "woman" walking through, After the door shut Sloan said "That's not a mommy, that's a boy!". 

This is the boys new favorite Christmas song. It's not new at all, just to us.

 {this picture is making another Christmas song come to mind}

I'm making this cocktail on Christmas eve{I wish I was drinking one right now.  It's 3:00pm}

I'm also making this appetizer

I would like to wear dresses with boots for the rest of my life.

{ I think this cute dress is making the fact that my forehead is huge less noticeable. well, on second thought maybe not}

I'll be 38 next month.

Have I ever told you I hate my birthday.

I'm thinking I will not do another "What I Wore" entry until I get a mirror some place other than in my bedroom.


 {this guy makes me feel young}

 {that guy looks like he's struggling to have fun}

I'm thinking about going to a Zumba class

I'm really hoping that December 26th doesn't find me upset that I'm not in Des Moines

I have to find a rug for my kitchen

When Sloan wakes up at night{which he does often}, he yells that there's a big bad monster in his room.  How could I not go in there just to check and then sneak him into our bed.

{Santa's death grip on the back of Holden's neck is cracking me up}


I'm thinking about not going to Target for 30 days to see how much money I save, but I'm scared.

I love Target.

I need to finish baking Christmas cookies. 

the elf on the shelf blog entry from last week is still making me laugh.

I hope that you are all finding some comfort and joy during this busy holiday season.  I'm off to dip some peanut butter balls in chocolate.

Friday, December 16, 2011

you'll thank me for sharing

A friend forwarded this link in an email yesterday and I am still cracking up.  If you need a good laugh{especially if your a mom}, you have to read it...

http://peopleiwanttopunchinthethroat.blogspot.com/2011/12/over-achieving-elf-on-shelf-mommies.html

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas: a home tour

Merry Christmas from our house to yours

{the mantel}


{the sunroom}







{the kitchen}


{cherished}


{the tree}


 {a kiddo and his little friends}


{peace and love}







I'm joining the party here


Sloan tested. Not so big brother approved.

"Jingle" is this years Christmas stuffed animal at our house. Some people, I won't name names but they are six and eight, thought he was dorky...

 
he makes cute little noises when you read certain lines in his Christmas book...


 
lucky for me I have Sobee....

Thursday, December 8, 2011

christmas cards are the "s" word

Back in this post I did a little venting about Christmas card pictures.  I'm still a bit bitter.  I vow next year to have them professionally done. I know my mom will be all broken hearted over it, as she was probably really looking forward to watching me have another melt down :) 

Getting these people to do anything these days is tough, and sometimes my wonderful husband can be the biggest bump in the road{hello fake smile and wandering eyes!}.  After looking a this picture a million times and thinking how we all looked cute except...Todd...I was going to use it anyways.  That was our only chance to get a picture and I thought up a way to get around "the bump".



 Ok, it was a desperate act, but these are desperate times for a desperate me.  I talked my self into it, I was three seconds from placing the order, but something told me to ask Todd for his opinion. He came over to the computer and was nearly  speechless.  He accused me of not liking him very much if I was going to actually use this picture.  I accused him of being "the bump".  I decided in order to save my marriage I should move on to plan B. 
This does not happen to be plan B, but wouldn't it be awesome if it was. 

note: I don't think Christmas cards are the "s" word{stupid for those of you who don't have an 8 year old}. I love them, really I do.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

making that again: the holiday entertaining edition

Well, I guess the holidays are in full swing, even if I'm not quite there yet.  I did however find myself humming Christmas carols while I was shopping this morning, so I think I will get in the spirit eventually.  I wanted to share a couple recipes with you that may be helpful with your entertaining this year, or if you need to take something to a breakfast, a cocktail party, a potluck...
I only have a picture of the coffee cake{what kind of cooking post is this?}but trust me when I tell you I will be making  them again.

{note: I made the filling a day ahead.  It comes back to life after it is heated in the oven}

{note: it calls for half the bag of hash browns, but I would add nearly the whole bag}
{If you are making this for more than a couple adults, I would double recipe}

{I left out the bourbon in the icing...I was taking it to church...it was still yummy}


Enjoy!

Monday, December 5, 2011

gettin merry up in here


The tree is up, the garland is hung, it's beginning to feel a little like Christmas{it's 65 degrees today}.  I even finally got my act together and the Advent calender is out{3 days late but who's counting...Holden was}.  I know I've gone on and on before about the Advent calender, but I love it.  I virtually do the same things every year{that's what a tradition is right?} and the morning I give the yearly ornament is one of my favorites. 

Is it just me, or are cute ornaments hard to find?  I mean, this is important stuff people.  My children compare and take inventory against each other while they trim the tree.  My ornament hunt is not something I take lightly.  This year  I found three cute little puppies and the boys thought it was pretty funny that I thought these little stuffed dogs were a representation of their personalities.  The one with curly matted hair is certainly Holden, preppy puppy is without a doubt Asher and the floppy eared goofy pup is Sloan.  See what I mean, no need to mark them with initials, I'll never have a problem remembering who these belong to ;)

Friday, December 2, 2011

I dreamt {dreamed, am dreaming} of a white kitchen

Every time I walk down the stairs and into the kitchen I love it a little bit more.  I'm not sure if it's because it was a gradual renovation, so it's been a gradual appreciation, but I am really happy with how it has all turned out.  I am mostly thrilled with how my "dream kitchen"{for this house at least} came out looking like the one in my head.  I love every element.  I love that it was on a major budget and still looks pretty{7,000.00 including appliances-that's fabulous}, and I love that my husband said yes to everything. He encouraged my vision and never even questioned butcher block counter tops, I think that's pretty amazing. He trusted me and for that I am thankful.  I have to admit that I haven't always trusted his ideas and this project has made me rethink how I can approach his "dream"plans better.  He deserves an emphatic YES! a lot of the time.

  Still working on the open shelves, but things are looking better.

Pottery Barn saved this organizing mama{again}. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

life a little sweeter

Have I ever told you about my brilliant friend Becca?  When discussing my Thanksgiving meal anxiety with her a few weeks ago, we came to the conclusion that the success of the meal arriving to the table on time{my biggest anxiety point} completely lies in the gravy.  I told her I was intent on buying it instead of slaving over it. She suggested the gravy base at Williams-Sonoma.  She saved me many tears and hours of regret. 

I was at Williams-Sonoma 3 minutes after hanging up with her.  I will forever{maybe not forever, but for the next several years} be at W-S picking up a trusty jar before I host Thanksgiving.  While I was there I was ohhhed and ahhwwed by a million different holiday products.  Have you ever gone in there between October and December? It's nearly impossible to leave without buying a treat, a gadget, a trinket.  


 I decided to treat my kitchen to a new little something something.  I mean, it is a well deserving kitchen after such a facelift.  This whip creamer is awesome!  Sugar, whipping cream, plunge and enjoy some decadence on your dessert.  It made me happy, like paper bag happy... but more fattening.


While I was there I was forced to pick up these

Somewhere along the way my children have been completely indulged{how did that happen}.  They don't drink hot chocolate over the holidays without one of these to stir their marshmallows.  Little spoiled funky chickens. Life is good.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

found: joy in a paper bag

Praise God for joy found in the little things.  Don't get me wrong, I find joy in the big things too{a big diamond on my 11th wedding anniversary would give me a whole bunch of joy}, but sometimes nothing makes me happier than making exactly what I need with materials stuffed away in my craft closet.  Paper bags and pieces of left over ribbon are my favorites, along with the obvious cardboard{I get excited about the box and the thing inside of it when the UPS man arrives} and book pages, oh and twine{obsessed much}.  My advise to you is never throw away{recycle} a paper bag, always save your ribbon scraps{no matter how small} and buy something at Pottery Barn this Christmas season just for the paper shopping bag{the possibilities are endless}.



Birthday treat bags are  no big deal with paper bag tags and something else I always keep on hand-buy cellophane bags every chance you get.


A pie good enough to give as a gift{recipe here}, and a paper bag tag to wrap it up tight.  Now, who wouldn't love that!?

Monday, November 28, 2011

in the bag

I am happy to report that Thanksgiving dinner was a success!  In fact, dare I say, fun.  The company was of course the best part, as my sister Kit and her husband  were visiting.  Many parts of me would have preferred sitting on the couch and reading magazines all day, but I have clearly had years of that considering this is the first Thanksgiving dinner I've made.  Instead, I enjoyed the chaos in the kitchen.  My turkey turned out well, the sides were yummy{one hiccup with the potatoes-if you make PW's mashers make sure to stir them up before reheating}, the pies were perfect and my husband...surprised{apparently there are a few dry turkeys in his past}.  I'll be ready next year to perfect my menu even more unless that is, we get an invitation to someone else's house-I'm no dumby.

 Arranging the flowers was my favorite part.  I told you I was more into the decorations.

Boy,  I look tired in this picture. I think it had something to do with the early morning wake up to bake a breakfast ham, but the turkey looks fresh.  That's all that matters. Could someone pass me the lipstick!

Did I mention what a great time we had with Kit and Bob{love you guys!}.  An early Christmas present from them got us in the holiday spirit.  I'm off to deck the halls....

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

if the moss fits

Working on a few odds and ends this week.  Gearing up for my Christmas decorating.  Are you one of those people who can start crafty Christmas projects in July?  I can't start until after Thanksgiving and craft right up to Christmas. Better under pressure I guess, something I really wished I had mastered{or for that matter realized about myself}in high school. 

I have yet to be super inspired by anything I've seen, clearly I am not spending enough time on Pinterest.  Last year I did a wire hanger wreath{among other things}, two years after they were popular. I'll probably be covering things in coffee filters because it was so last year.  I am from Iowa, being two years behind trends is nothing new to me ;)  Hope you're having a good day. I'll be back next week.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

the best laid plans

Do I ever wish that I could just organize my way through Thanksgiving.  I think I would be pretty successful, but no, you have to stop and cook.  That's where I think my best laid plans will go astray.  This is my first Thanksgiving dinner to make.  I have never cooked a turkey. ever.  I'm thinking this could be bad.  My people around me have been answering my calls, consulting their people, supporting me through my anxiety.  Yes, I'm having anxiety, but I want to do this.  It's about time I do this.  

I'm keeping it simple{I think, I pray}.  My friend Tisha asked me if I'm doing a traditional Thanksgiving.  Yes, I said, and then realized that maybe I wasn't.  I guess my lack of cooking Thanksgiving dinner has given me a lack of traditional dishes.  My kids don't know{yet} that many sides at Thanksgiving should have marshmallows on them{I'm regretting that I'm not making one but no chance I'm changing the menu now}.  Thanksgiving at our house growing up wasn't spent at a house at all, but was dinner at the Country Club my Dad managed.  It was the only way we would see him on holidays.  I'm thinking my mom was pretty lucky to forfeit to a restaurant.  I'm thinking I might be strange.  Here is my menu:

Turkey
Mashed Potatoes{pioneer woman}
Stuffing
Cranberry sauce
Green Beans with Caramelized Shallots{sounthern living}
Fried Confetti Corn{sounthern living}
Apple Pear Salad with Maple-Pecan Bacon{southern living}
Rolls
Pecan Pie{Pioneer Woman}
Pumpkin Pie
 Becca told me she was most concerned about the decorations, I'm with her on that one.
 All the "How To" time lines I consulted suggested putting out all your serving dishes several days before.  I blame my dad for the labels.   He ruined me{in a good way}.  You should see the man's linen closet.  Just saying Dad.  Did I really need to label the gravy dish!? Feel free to say a little prayer for me.  You know, something like..."Please Lord, don't let Sarah's head pop off before the turkey even makes it in the oven."  Thank you!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Todd is our D.J.

My husband{the one who gets upset about never making this blog}is crazy about music. He comes home every week, if not every day, with a list of songs to download.  "You've heard this one haven't you??" he says in his slightly arrogant tone we have all learned to love over the years.  "Ummm nope", I say, "You clearly confuse me with someone who doesn't drive around with little impressionable people!"  He then "educates" me on the happenings of music in the world that I am not currently a part of.  He has eclectic taste and I like it. He plays his music loud, the kids dance, sometimes he says the words remind him of me, I then decide I like the song a little more.  He is our house D.J and he does it well.

Last week we had a date{gasp}night seeing one of his favorite bands{from college}, The Pixies.  We had a great time.  He was excited to see a fabulous band, I was happy to get out of the house.  Live music is always inspiring, even when your not a die hard fan{I am a 90's failure as I knew not even a single song}. He will continue  to school me on music. I look forward to the day when concerts happen more than every 4 years, and vow to stay cool for my kids sake{and Todd's!}.


Some crazy guy was nice enough to take our pictures.  It was fun to be back in the black clothes and tattoos crowd.

Todd would like to educate you as well{I mean why should I be the only one}.  Enjoy The Pixies...or don't...it's not his concern. One thing I've learned about D.J.s is the playlist isn't made for you{or me, or anyone else for that matter}.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3R_-3w_Iwk0

This monkey is going to bed.  Good night.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I'm back! I really did not intend to take such a break.  But, guess what? I've been busy!  I know, the story of all our lives.  Between visitors{my mom, and then my dad and Ellen, next my sister and her husband} I've been able to do a little work on the kitchen.  My mother has requested updated pictures:

 Handyman Pat was back to trim the back splash.  It was looking all a wreck, but with lots of white paint{and a considerable amount of caulk} I do believe it has come together nicely. Is this picture blury?

Now some work on the problem areas.  I love having a lamp in here, but what to with the cord?? I really can't stand seeing cords



The bottom shelf is driving me crazy.  I'm struggling with how to make this space family friendly{ie:  school work, to do lists, misc garbage that should go directly into the recycling} without looking messy.  This is not my idea of working, so back to the drawing bored. Open shelves seemed like such a great idea, and I don't regret having them, but it is taking some major tweaking to make them look like anything.  Something to consider.

I WILL be back this week{I'm really trying to convince myself more than you}, so we'll chat then...


Thursday, November 3, 2011

faux is fun

Not much progress has been made in the kitchen.  We still need trim, still need to paint, still have plenty to do.  But, when my mom was here we got busy on a faux roman shade for the window.  It would not have turned out so well without her help-thanks mom!  I love the fabric, and although the window still looks all weird without the trim pieces and stuff, I love the shade.  I thought this was a pretty brilliant way to spend very little money on a window covering.  I think the Nester would be proud.  This is certainly a window mis-treatment.  Here is the blog I stole the directions from.

 I used four spring poles and about enough fabric to cover half the length of the window. I would say the whole thing cost about 50 dollars.  I think that's awesome considering a roman shade in fabric that I would have been settling for would be at least 150.00! Hoot Hoot for no-sew faux! 


{the next two pictures fall into the "wreck me up" category}

Speaking of my mom and her amazing ability to get the job done for me. We miss her! We had so much fun with her, not to mention she helped me decorate and she cleaned my windows!  Love you Gabby! We are all thinking about you! 

This little guy is especially feeling her absence.  She has been gone a week and he is still talking about snuggling with her. What a little lover he is{after you chase him down and demand he take the time to kiss you}.  This is his school picture for the year.  I'm in love.  I was actually considering a haircut for him today until I say this photo.  Some dork called him a girl at church and I was thinking it just might be time to get rid of that precious messy hair, but now I think he can wait a little longer. 

Hope you are all having a fabulous week.  I'll be back soon...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

things that wreck me up part 2 {the cute, the sad, and the just plain frustrating} and Halloween 2011

 Every year the classrooms at Rocky Hill make a t-shirt for the kids to wear on outings and special days.  Look at Asher's self portrait.  He's so darn happy that his smile has run into to his eyeballs.  Loving that boy like crazy.  Too cute!
 This came home the other day in Holden's folder.  It took me by surprise and made me sad{Drake is Holden's BFF in Iowa}.  I miss our friends in our old neighborhood at least once day.  Still.  I was just hoping that it wasn't so fresh for the boys.  I guess it is.
 Can we talk Christmas cards.  Every single year I struggle with these darn things but love them all at the same time.  When my mom visits in the Fall she tries to get our family picture so I have it for cards in December.  OUR PLAN NEVER WORKS! This picture is pretty darn cute don't you think. Kids are all smiling.  The house in the back isn't ideal although I could have made it work. BUT, what the heck is my husband doing??  There best be a naked person walking down the street.  That would be the ONLY good excuse for taking your eyes off the task at hand!!

 Happy Halloween!  Look, the same naked person has caught Asher's eye.
This raggedy group was excited to be out on the town last night.  We were the only group out trick or treating.  To say we have an un-lively street is an understatement, but I will say that there were a lot of porch lights on.  Three times as many as last year.  I think it safe to say that the boys at 1504 have woken this sleepy neighborhood up!