December 28, 2006

Christmas Wrap Up

Well, Christmas is over, and it's back to work. It's really weird being at work right now, because next to noone is actually working. Most people have vacation time to use, and the week after Christmas is apparently when everyone uses it. Me, I'm still on probation (stupid new-hire rules) and therefore cannot use vacation. I've graciously been allowed unpaid leave, which is the last thing a person needs after Christmas...

It's okay though, because DS and I did manage a whirlwind tour of the southeast. In 5 days, we traveled over 2000 miles, which allowed us exactly one day each with our families. Going down wasn't so bad, since we went about halfway the first day, spent a day with my mom, and then the other half to SC to see his mom. However, the day after Christmas we got to spend an exciting 17 hours in the car, only to go to work the next morning. Woot!

Despite the less than ideal traveling conditions, there were some great things that happened on this trip. First, my parents bought me a hammered dulcimer for Christmas, which I'm madly in love with. My grandmother played both kinds of dulcimer in a bluegrass band, so we've always had them around the house. Unfortunately, the hammered dulcimer was broken by someone a long time ago, so I've never been able to play it. Now, I have my own!

I of course got to curl up with Abby.

I also got to spend time with my new niece and nephew. Miles is 2, and is turning out to be really fun now that he can do more than cry.

I've been searching for a picture of Abby I thought was on here, and have lost my train of thought without even a picture to show for it. Oh well.

I still have a few ornaments left if anyone wants them. More better updates will resume when I've regained my sanity. (You like my excellent use of grammar don't you?)

December 22, 2006

3 Days until Christmas

Well, here goes. That fun time of year that DS and I get to travel cross country to visit family, effectively spending more time in the car than actual visiting. But it's okay, because I am surprisingly happy this year. Life is falling into place in a way I never imagined it could a few years ago. Plus, I have a new friend at work (who I'm currently obsessed with) who was kind enough to make me over 20 cd's recently. So, bring it on car! I have more music than you have hours! Woot!

Merry Christmas to everyone!

December 19, 2006

7 Days until Christmas

How the heck did that happen??? At any rate, 24 of the ornaments are done. Drum roll!!

You can get them plain for $6, as shown below.
For an extra dollar, you can send me a picture of your pet, and I'll do my best to put them curled up in front of the fire.

I can send out the plain ones as early as Wednesday, but the custom ones will take a little longer. The good news is that unlike last year, I have all 60 (yes, 60!) very nearly done (meaning they all have the quilled fire already, and are halfway painted) and 24 that are completely done. So even if you get it after Christmas, it won't take as long as last year.

As usual, if you want one, send me an e-mail. Most of you should know it by now!

December 13, 2006

12 Days until Christmas

It's Wednesday, and you know what that means! Wait, you don't? Geez!

It's Battlestar Galactica night at Anne's!! We're all fairly new to the show, so we're watching the old ones together to get caught up to TV. Hooray for robots!

If you're cool, you'll join me. Yeah that's right. I just set the standard for cool. No laughing.

December 11, 2006

15 Days until Christmas

Well, the presents are wrapped. The house is at least superficially clean. I spent the evening painting ornaments. I feel a little better, but I'm still worried about these ornaments. After consulting with MT, I've decided to at least finish a small batch. So, hopefully by the end of the week, they'll be unveiled!

I'm actually looking forward to work tomorrow. It seems relaxed compared to the last week...

December 10, 2006

16 Days until Christmas

DS and I went Christmas shopping today. Normally, I get excited about that. I'm not sure why I didn't, especially since we could afford to do it without the help of our credit cards for the first time ever. I'm in a bit of a funk. The house is a mess, but I can't seem to get it clean, even when I try. The new ornaments aren't done, and I'm running out of time to mail them, much less sale them. Christmas decorations are only half done. I'm still not recovered from my work trip.

While the trip itself was exhausting, it was a good experience. I was stationed in the PACU the whole week, which is basically where patients recover after surgery. There were no walls, so it took me a little while to get used to being so close to half naked people who are full of morphine. Switching to an EMR (electronic medical record) can be very stressful for the people who work in the hospital, but I was pleasantly surprised to see how wonderful the nurses in my unit adapted. Even the first day, when things are the hardest, they were cheerful and easy-going. I couldn't have asked for a better experience for my first work trip. By the end of the week they were asking for my address to send me a Christmas card, which really touched me. Then again, I did spend 12 hours a day with them :)

Tomorrow I'm hopefully going to craft at my friend Anne's house, which probably means I'm going to be making ornaments. I don't want to impose this depression on anyone else though, so here's hoping I wake up just a little bit perkier.

December 03, 2006

22 Days until Christmas

Christmas came early this year!! DS and I both wanted the new Wii, so we decided that would be our Christmas present to each other. Unfortunately, despite going to the stores everyday since the launch, we had been unsuccessful in getting one.

That is, until today!! Those forums DS spends so much time on finally paid off, as were clued in to a second "launch" happening at most stores this morning. So, DS braved 7 degree weather to stand in line for an hour before Target opened this morning to get his "Wii Ticket". For once, I didn't mind getting up early.

We played bowling first. Notice the tongue, a mark of my concentration. Also notice the random ornament mess.

And here's DS. He beat me, surprise surprise.

We also have Zelda, which I'm super excited about, and Madden football. Apparently, there's a surgery game, were you perform surgeries on patients using the two controllers as your scalpel and whatnot. DS believes I will love it, so I guess we're going to have that too. Anyone want to come over and play???

December 02, 2006

23 Days until Christmas

Winston and Felix think our tree is their own personal jungle gym. They've broken several ornaments, chew on the branches as if they were real, and tree skirt is always wadded up to the side. I straightened it just for this picture, though Felix quickly messed it up again.

24 Days until Christmas

Let's start this year's Christmas countdown with one of my favorite high horses:

The Proper Hanging of Christmas Lights.

Yes, it's true, I'm a Christmas light snob. Maybe it's the Virgo in me, or maybe it was the years spent helping my step-father hang our lights, where he made sure each bulb was arranged to lay exactly right against the windows. Whatever the reason, I believe Christmas lights should be thought out. None of this sloppy throwing up of something just so you can say you've decorated. Do it right! And for crying out loud, pick a theme. Just because Target sells 15 different varieties doesn't mean you have to put each one up on your house. Light hanging is an art form, and when done well, is one of the most beautiful and enchanting things about the holidays.

I give you, Exhibit A.

From a distance, this balcony doesn't look too bad. The lights are nicely placed around the tob and bottom rungs of the railing, and are accented nicely by a lit wreath. However, upon closer inspection, we see that no less than 5 different color strands are used. I'm not talking about 5 colors on each strand, but rather 5 separate strands, each one color, randomly placed on the balcony. Orange, Pink, Blue, Clear and Red. What happened? Each child wanted a different color? This was all you had and decided you'd just put them all up? Maybe no one would notice?

This is a minor offense. As I gather more pictures, I'll share them, trying to stick with the really bad and the really awesome.

Note: For those of you who don't know, I work at a software company that makes products exclusively for the healthcare community. One of the side notes of my job is helping hospitals go-live with new products. Next week is my first trip. I leave Sunday, and will be in Champaign through Friday, working 5am-5pm shifts in the hospital. I'm supposed to be excited about it, but all I can think of is how I'll miss my home (and all the things that come with it) and how impossible it will be for me to actually be somewhere at 5am. We have customers in Hawaii, but even that isn't worth getting up at 3am... At any rate, I may be scarce for the next week as I try to avoid passing out from exhaustion (though at least it would be in a hospital), and try to fit in some ornament making time. So don't worry!

November 28, 2006

You wanted Thanksgiving Pictures?

This is just a close up picture of my Thanksgiving handtowels.
Go ahead, use it as your festive wallpaper next year, I will.

So here's our Thanksgiving in a nutshell:
(yes, that's my new KitchenAid Mixer! woot!)

I spent 20 whole minutes preparing this whiskey and pumpkin pie, and then a whole hour waiting on it to bake in the oven...

... and all DS made was this Rosemary Roasted Turkey.

November 20, 2006

Things you missed while my internet was broken.

DS and I finally got a real bed! Yea!!!! No more sleeping on the floor on a crappy matress!
(Thank you so much to the people who gave us money as a wedding present!!!)

I met Kimberlina! This is at Boo at the Zoo! at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago. She's a mummy!

DS is an explorer who rides a masked lion...

Look at Kimberlina brave this lion, and the cold!

This year I carved a spiderweb pumpkin, complete with beaded web and spider.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have Official 2006 Sleep Goblin Ornaments to make.

November 19, 2006


Sometimes when I'm doing laundry, I get distracted and leave the dryer door open while I do something else. We have one of those double stacked washer-dryer sets that fit into a closet, and the dryer is on top. Apparently, Winston discovered the dryer a while back, and now I can't keep him out of it when I'm folding clothes. I just can't get him to understand why a warm, soft cubby hole is a bad place for a cat to sleep...

These are two different occasions. It would seem he likes the dryer even when it's empty.

And this is a random picture from a snuggle session the other day. He has a really hard time just being sweet, which is actually one of my favorite things about him.

November 18, 2006

Am I the only one who thinks "The Big O" is a dirty dirty name for

November 15, 2006

Animal Planet is a crappy channel

I don't know why I bother watching that stupid channel. You think to yourself, oh, cool, animals. I love animals. But everytime I watch that channel, it's some show about animal rescue, which is really a show where they show you puppies dying and cats stuck in pipes, and dogs with barbed wire stuck in their bodies. I can't watch that channel without crying, and I refuse to be sucked in again!

November 13, 2006

I worked 10 hours today, but I have come here to do one thing. Because if nothing else, I must update Spinning Girl's brownie points for sending me such a wonderful wedding gift. Now, my day is complete.

November 09, 2006

Honeymoon Pictures

This is the first time my internet has worked in over 5 days, so I'm trying to get a few pictures up before I leave for work. If it's still working after work, I'll try to add some captions and some more pictures. I wish I had Spinning Girl's talent for the poison quill, because Charter would be getting some hateful words from me! At any rate, enjoy Jamaica!

The living room in our suite. We had two patios. TWO!

This was right outside our room! The water was so clear. So much so that you can see the seaweed on the bottom. Don't worry, there was a sandy beach down the shore.

This huge tree was in the middle of the resort. I was in love with it, until I got swarmed by bees from the hive in that nitch I was standing in.

DS and I went on a Canopy Tour in the mountain jungle. They hung zip lines between mountains, and we went soaring over the valleys. This was the coolest thing ever, but we couldn't take pictures while doing it, so you'll have to take my word for it.

My mom wanted a picture of us while we were there. Unfortunately, the humidity and heat often made my camera fog up, and this time, I noticed too late.

We don't have any pictures of it, but we had an amazing time snorkeling while we were there. I swam in the middle of a school of tropical fish!! We also went to this to die for Japanese restaurant in the resort, where you get 6 courses, all included, and the sushi chef specially designs your meal every night.

All in all, we had a wonderful time. I wish we had known beforehand how long the travel time between the airport and the resort was, because we ended up only have 3 good days there. But you can't complain about 3 wonderful days, and we'd definitely like to back there again soon.

October 30, 2006

We're Home!

DS and I are back from Jamaica! It was the best, and really the only, real vacation we've taken together. The Grand Lido Negril is an amazing resort, and we'll gladly recommend it to anyone looking for somewhere warm to go.

On Saturday, we took the Metra (the commuter train!) to Chicago to visit Kimberlina while she was close. She's as cute and awesome in person as she is online!! She helped us check another zoo off of our list be suggested we spend the day at the Brookfield Zoo. We won't hold it against her that the trip out there took so long that we only had an hour in the zoo :) And really, the walk back was really nice, so I'm glad it all worked out the way it did. It was "Boo at the Zoo" while we were there too, so there were hundreds of tiny monsters running around.

Tonight, I have to carve a pumpkin. I say have to, because work gave them out for free, with the condition that we bring them back decorated for the Halloween party they're throwing us tomorrow. As long as I show it off at the party, the pumpkin is mine to keep. So, I'm off to do some carving! Hopefully tomorrow I can post Honeymoon and Chicago pictures.

Thanks to everyone who sent us well wishes and to those who sent us gifts. Everything was lovely, and we're especially excited to make new things in the kitchen. We were so happy that so many of our friends and family were able to make it.

If you're close to Madison, we're thinking of having a small party soon. So if anyone wasn't able to make the trek to Kentucky, or if you just like hanging out with us, you can celebrate with us in Wisconsin! We have lots of wedding cake too! Just send me an e-mail!!

October 22, 2006

Holy Crap!! I'm Married!

Well, I wish I could tell you everything that happened yesterday, but it's honestly all a blur. I can tell you that everyday leading up to the wedding, and most certainly today, the weather was AWFUL! Very cold, over cast, and usually raining. Though of course, we came home to snow on the ground in Wisconsin! However, the day of the wedding, the weather was fantastic! Perfectly sunny and in the 60's.

I don't really have much in the way of pictures yet, and we leave at the crack of dawn tomorrow for our honeymoon, but my mom was kind enough to e-mail me a few so you can all sate your appetite.

Dorian, the flower girl, and now my niece. We were afraid she'd be too shy, but she was great!

This is in front of the property owner's house.

There was a giant oak tree off to the side of the yard with a bench underneath. This is currently my mom's favorite picture, and I can't say I blame her.

We're both super happy, but super tired. We still have to unpack the car, finish packing for the honeymoon, and try to get some much needed sleep! If we can, we'll post from Jamaica, but if not, we'll see you all when we get home! Thanks so much to everyone who helped make the day the best ever!!!

October 19, 2006


Look! A picture of DS!

Remember Nick? He's three now, and has spent the last year asking when I was going to take him back to the pumpkin patch. He still has a thing for green pumpkins.

He has also developed a fondness for white pumpkins. I was the wise one that let a three year old pick out my wedding decorations.

Here you see DS, Kel (MOH), Nick, and Chanda (Nick's Mom, one of my best friends). They are very excited to be feeding an assortment of koi, catfish, bluegill, ducks, and one mean white swan. (Okay, Kel is trying to kick the swan, but they're feeding everything else.)

"Whoa whoa whoa! ... a ghost!" - Nick


DS and I have been fretting over the weather forecast for our wedding lately. For days, Saturday's weather prediction wavered back and forth between a 60% chance of rain all day, and partly cloudy. However, the closer we get, the better it looks. Today's forecast for Saturday?? Sunny, chance of rain only 10%. Woot!!

We're in Louisville now. I'm going my best to let the wrinkles fall out of my dress without letting DS see it.

This morning we're going to get our marriage license, and then we're off to get pumpkins for the tables!

The sad news? Internet is $10 a day, so I'm not sure how much I'll actually get to update everyone. Apparently it's the same in Jamaica, but here's hoping I can convince DS!

October 11, 2006

MMmmmm, Pears

Yes, you were all right (Monkey first!!), Spinning Girl sent us pears for our wedding! I don't know a whole lot about pears, but I can tell you this; those are THE juiciest pears I have EVER had. The company's motto is that you'll have to eat them with a spoon, and I tell you, I nearly did..

In other news, we're having snow flurries. The low tonight is 27. Are you all so jealous you don't live in Wisconsin right now?

October 10, 2006

11 Days.. ACK!

How well do you know your fellow bloggers?

That's right, another contest, because I love them! Your challenge: to be the first person to tell me who is responsible for this box of delicious pears that I found sitting on my doorstep today! (No cheating, you awesome gift giver!!) I have to admit that I hoped the golden one was chocolate, but alas, it is another pear. Is there some tradition there I don't know about??

Felix and Winston reminded us last night of why we can't play board games without having extreme patience anymore.

Also, Winston likes to lay like this sometimes, and it cracks me up. He always starts off in some normal position, and then after a moment he inches forward, dragging his belly. He does this belly crawl a lot, like when he's escaping my snuggling but doesn't really want to get up, and when he wants to chase something but is feeling lazy. Apparently, he also does it just cause.

Fall at Governor Dodge, 2006

You may recall that last year, DS and I took a fall hiking trip to Governor Dodge State Park. Well, this year was no different....

DS, the explorer!

Can you make out that rock outcropping on the far left side?

Yeah, we climbed it.

The first tree is from this year, the second is from last year.

DS is laughing at me beause I'm skipping across the parking lot.

October 08, 2006

Jen is the Coolest!!

I think blogging has made such a wonderful array of connections possible for me. Take, for example, today's wonderfulness.

Through many other people's blog, I even tually came to know and love Kimberlina of Gimchi. Because of her many talents, and her many talented friends (wistful sigh!), she is now part of a group called Girlfriend Sweatshop (GFSS). These girls get together and make things, which they then give as gifts, or sell.

Through Kimberlina, I discovered her friend Jen, whose GFSS affliate is known as Ligurian. These wonderful women all sell their wares on a little place called Etsy, the coolest online store I've found to date. This place allows for a thing they call Alchemy, which is really just custom work.

Being impressed with Jen's books, I requested that she create the guest book for our wedding. And boy did she! I am telling you, never have we seen such a beautiful handmade book. We wanted to do something different with our guest book. I knew that if we got one of those traditional white satin things, I'd hate it, and it'd just go in a box in storage as soon as we got home. And who ever looks at a list of names? So, we decided to find a beautiful book, and have people write us notes in it. We left the actual design up to Jen's creativity, and we are not disappointed!!

(Note: Names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent.)

So please, let me take this opportunity to remind you all to think about the people you know when buying things that are special. There are some wonderful artists out there. Everything I've bought from these GFSS peeps has been amazing.

Jen also makes albums and notecards. Her books come in all different sizes. If you're in the market for a new journal, get one from her!!

What is this?

5 bonus points to the first person who can correctly tell me what this picture is!

October 05, 2006

Dearest Fans (and anyone else as well!),

You'll be happy to note that I've been on quite the creative kick lately, and those ornaments I've been finishing are just a few coats of paint away from being done! The hardest part, actually making the penguins and getting them inside the glass, was finished last weekend.

For those of you who said you wanted some, but haven't paid, I've made yours too. If you still want them, please drop me a line. If not, that's cool too! I don't mind hanging on to them, so don't feel obligated.

If you want them, but didn't order them, then I'm sorry, but I'm not making anymore. However, you're all welcome to start making your suggestions for this year's ornament! This time, I'm only making a limited number of them in advance, and once they're gone, I won't make anymore. I lose interest after Christmas, and it feels like a chore to make the extras, and it's not fair to make you all wait this long to get them.

That's it!! Love you guys!

October 04, 2006

Fall Delights

Fall means caramel apples covered in nuts.

I love fall.

Growing up, it also meant Little Debbie Snack Cake's limited time only Pumpkin Delights. I've been looking for them for weeks now, because I've been bringing home caramel apples for weeks. I had decided Wisconsin doesn't like pumpkin, and so the grocery stores didn't carry them.

The behold!! Last night, DS and I found Pumpkin Delights at the grocery. I'm on Cloud 9 today!!

I tell you what, life doesn't get much better than this :)

September 30, 2006

3 weeks!

Two things:

  1. I have the hiccups.
  2. My weddings is exactly THREE WEEKS from today!! (If you want to come, you'd better let me know soon!!)
  3. The Sangria Swirl from Abuelo's is totally awesome. As is their cake.
  4. Shut up, I can count!

September 28, 2006

Change is in the Air

Last weekend, DS and I went north for Cranberry Fest, which apparently has the biggest arts and craft fair in all of Wisconsin. To be perfectly honest, it took us a long time to find anythign arts and crafty about it. A large majority of the thousands of booths we saw looked more like a sad flea market, full of other people's unwanteds.

The lack of art didn't douse our spirits though, for the trip gave us our first taste of real Fall. Yes, the season is definitely changing, and I am elated!

Man I love these colors. I hope Fall holds off in Kentucky just long enough for it to look like this when I get married.

DS, in a rare moment for him, actually smiled for the camera. Though to be honest, I was merely patient enough for him to laugh at all of his scowling.

Where I live, a little further south, the color is starting to creep in as well. The temperature has dropped enough just today that I had to close the windows from the chill.

These two balconies beat the socks off me during the apartment's "prettiest patio" contest. It still looks like Spring over there.

Look at those flowers! I still can't believe I took this picture.

Of course, Felix says it's Fall, and what she says goes!

Note: I've rearranged some things on the sidebar. Being the copycat I am, I've added a section for the book I'm currently reading. Also, Willie will be happy to note the change in his brownie points, which is due to DS and I deciding to use his suggested reading in our ceremony. Thanks Willie!!