Wednesday, February 10, 2016

January Recap

Between starting the Harry Potter series again (I haven't read the books since they first came out!) and convincing Mitch to watch "The Middle" reruns with me every evening (I think he now enjoys the show as much as I do!), I haven't made much time to blog.  So, like usual, I'm behind with posting and, like usual, I'm doing a recap to catch up.

1.  I bought myself a little planner for 2016 - I think it's the first time I've had one since I was in high school - and I'm having fun with it.  I know my phone has a calendar and there are plenty of apps I could use instead but for some reason I need to have the physical object, the "hard copy," in front of me to remember to stay organized.  I obviously can't be the only one since there are still so many planner options out there!

2.  Some girlfriends and I celebrated our "Girls Christmas" at the beginning of the month.  I was introduced to a new dice game called "Tenzi" which I HIGHLY recommend.  So much fun!

And one of my artsy-fartsy girlfriends gave personalized paintings on old cabinet doors (she has access to old cabinet doors at the interior design store where she works - yay for giving old things a new life instead of letting them end up in a landfill!)  Isn't my painting absolutely perfect?  Crickett and a book!  It's going to look so wonderful hanging up in my library.

3.  I had to take a CPR and first-aid training class for work.  You know, for all those times accountants need to perform life-saving procedures.  I kid - I know crazy things can happen anywhere at anytime.  While it was a long day out of the office, the information was interesting and the instructor was hilarious.  Plus, I now have a certificate saying I can save your life.  Just kidding, I'd recommend finding someone else to help you out in an emergency!

4.  Mitch hung up my "Librarian Crickett" canvas in the entry of my library.  I love her face; it looks as if she's shushing anyone who enters!

5.  Mitch and I bought a new mattress.  Our old mattress was about ten years old, had a big hump in the middle, and was making painful creaking noises when I would get into bed (not a great self-esteem booster!).  We decided to break out the big guns and splurged on a memory foam Tempur-Pedic mattress.  It's pretty darn wonderful.  We also got new pillows - super fancy, expensive pillows (never in my life did I think I'd own a pillow that cost more than five dollars).  Those are also pretty darn wonderful.  So, sleeping is a much more enjoyable activity now . . . except when your husband decides to dust the headboard when you're in bed for the night.

6.  Mitch got to celebrate his birthday a day early on the last day of January.  We went out for dinner, ate some homemade cake (for the record, I did not do that frosting job even though it looks like something I'd do), and apparently Mitch was good enough to get presents.  His gnome collection has been started - and not even by me!  Isn't he adorable?!  (The gnome, not Mitch).

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Dusting Fail

Last night, at that beautiful moment when I was about to enter the lovely world of sleep, I felt the bed moving close to my head.  Upon opening my eyes, I saw my husband standing over me.  When I asked him what he was doing, he responded with "Dusting the headboard."  I believe my exact words were "Are you kidding me?"  Because seriously, who thinks the perfect time to dust the headboard is when their wife is trying to sleep?

Dusting fail.  Serious dusting fail.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Thoughts on the New Year

Here we are over halfway through the first month of the new year; hard to believe.  Apparently 2016 has decided to hit the ground running!  As always, I wanted to keep pace with the new year from the minute it came in and, like usual, I haven't been able to keep up.  So, I've decided to do something different this year.  This year I'm going to set my own pace and be happy with it, no matter how slow or fast I may go.

I enjoy the feelings that New Year's Eve brings.  The nostalgia that comes with thinking about the past year and the anticipation of the year ahead.  There's something very exciting about the clock turning midnight and starting fresh.

Except you're not really starting fresh.  New Year's Day is just another day.  You're not magically different or changed no matter how hopeful you were the previous night.  I've always known this fact to be true but deep down I didn't really want to believe it.  It's exhilarating to think things could be different, better in all the ways you wanted, simply by the change of the calendar year.

I woke up on January 1st the same person I was when I went to bed on December 31st (yet another year I did not make it to midnight!).  And you know what? I'm trying to be okay with that.  Of course I'm not completely thrilled because I was hoping for a bit of that overnight magic but I am very happy with the fact that I'm slowly letting go of my unrealistic expectations of what a new year brings. It's a very hard thing for me to do.

It's okay that I everything I wanted to be different wasn't different at the start of the new year.  Some things will be different in the near future; some things will be different in the not-so-near future.  Some things will be different with very little effort on my part and some things will be different with a lot of work on my part.  My goal this year is to celebrate every little victory, whenever it occurs.  Because they will happen in their own time, not when a calendar says they should.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

101 in 1001, Round 2 - Update 8

I can't believe that Christmas is over and it's New Year's Eve tomorrow!  Seriously, where has this year gone?!

Okay, I know the last part of my year was spent enjoying holiday movies but where did the rest of it go?!  One of the tasks on my 101 in 1001 list is to watch 25 Christmas movies each Christmas season of the challenge and this year I managed to squeeze in 26!  I was hoping to watch a few more - so many good ones I didn't get around to - but there's always next year!  Here are the 26 I enjoyed this year:

1.  Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

2.  Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer

3.  Frosty the Snowman

4.  Frosty Returns

5.  Elf - This one is a must every year for Mitch and me.

6.  Trading Christmas (Hallmark) - One of the best movies I watched this year and I would even venture to say it's made it on my list of favorites.  I will definitely watch it again next year if it's on.

7.  On Strike for Christmas  (Lifetime)

8.  The Flight Before Christmas  (Lifetime)

9.  Crown for Christmas (Hallmark)

10.  'Tis the Season for Love (Hallmark)

11.  A Very Merry Mix-Up (Hallmark) - I've seen this movie before and really liked it so I had to watch it again.  It will probably make it on my list again next year if it's on.

12.  Christmas Under Wraps (Hallmark) - I watched this movie last year and enjoyed it so I watched it again this year.  I enjoyed it just as must this year but don't think it's Christmasy enough to justify watching it again next year.

13.  A Royal Christmas (Hallmark)

14.  12 Dates of Christmas (ABC Family) - This movie was so awesome; I do believe I'm going to add it to my Christmas list next year!  I can't believe I'd never seen it until this year!

15.  12 Gifts of Christmas (Hallmark)

16.  A Christmas Detour (Hallmark) - One of my least favorite movies I watched this season.  I will not be watching it again in the future.

17.  Family for Christmas (Hallmark)

18.  Holiday in Handcuffs - This movie has become one of my yearly musts.

19.  Home Alone

20.  Becoming Santa (Lifetime)

21.  Christmas Incorporated (Hallmark)

22.  The Christmas Ornament (Hallmark) - Ditto to #6!

23.  Wish Upon a Christmas (Lifetime)

24.  Just in Time for Christmas (Hallmark)

25.  Mistletoe Over Manhattan (Hallmark)

26.  National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - Another must every year for Mitch and me.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

101 in 1001, Round 2 - Update 7

One of the goals on my 101 in 1001 list is to read one Christmas novel each Christmas season of the challenge.  Last night I finished the book I chose this year.

I found A Christmas Blizzard by Garrison Keillor at the library's used book sale and thought it sounded like a fun read.

Snow is falling all across Minnesota as Mr. and Mrs. James Sparrow awaken in their modest Minneapolis apartment.  She adores Christmas; he loathes it.  Even nauseated, suffering from a stomach bug, she yearns to see The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol while he yearns only to fly to Hawaii and escape the joyless joy, the relentless marketing, and that dreadful pa-rum-pum-pum-pum song on the radio.  An urgent phone call from his cousin sends James flying off to his hometown of Looseleaf, North Dakota, into a heavy blizzard.  As he hunkers down in an ice house to weather the storm, stranded among his loony relatives, he is visited by a parade of figures who deliver him an epiphany worth of the season, just in time to receive Mrs. Sparrow's wonderful Christmas gift.  

This book was quite the opposite of a fun read.  While short at less than 200 pages, it was an excruciating read that felt about ten times longer than it was.  About one-third of the way into the novel I discovered it was awful and started avoiding it.  When I realized I was running out of time to pick and complete an entirely new Christmas novel, I had to force myself to open the book and trudge through nearly every single sentence.  The plot was lacking, the sentences and conversations poorly constructed, and the characters annoying and unrealistic.  Plus, Keillor obviously doesn't know North Dakota.  I can honestly say this is one of the worst books I've ever read.

At least the cover was fun.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Thursday 13: 2015 Etsy Christmas Finds

I cannot believe that next week is Christmas!  This joyous season sure is flying by!

Time for one of my favorite Thursday 13s: Items I wouldn't mind finding under my tree on Christmas morning!  (All photos from the Etsy shop.  Click on the description to visit the shops.)

1.  Adorable Santa riding a polar bear.

2. Not only would this sleigh book folding pattern be a fun activity but it would also give me a great item to display in my library (provided it looked like a sleigh - HA!).

3.  Fun Christmas tree snow globe necklace.

4.  I think this Fa La La La La banner would look great strung across my piano.

5.  I'm so in love with these vintage elves.

6.  Super cute mini tree ornaments.

7.  Pretty Be Merry sweater.

8.  I already own a wonderful nativity set but this pottery version is quite pretty.

9.  Sweet stuffed candy canes.

10.  Gorgeous Christmas painting.  This artist's work actually made an appearance on my list last year as well.  

11.  Charming horse drawn sleigh.

12.  I've discovered I really like milk glass.  I also really like holly (how could I not?).  Obviously I was drawn to these milk glass holly coffee cups.

13.  Beautiful 12 Days of Christmas print.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Seven Years Old

Our little girl turned seven years old yesterday!  I know I said it last year but I'm still going to say it again: where has the time gone?!

And like last year, Mitch and I got Crickett a little cake from a local dog bakery to help her celebrate her special day.

Happy Birthday to our beautiful little girl!  We are beyond blessed to have you in our lives!  Love you so very much!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

101 in 1001, Round 2 - Update 6

Today I got my very first piano!  It's strange but so very exciting to know that this beauty is mine and I can sit down and play in my own home any time I want (well, almost any time - I'm sure Mitch and Crickett still want to sleep at night)!

I knew I wanted a piano when I had my own house.  I also knew that I wanted that piano to be an old upright.  Upright pianos are beautiful not only for their size but the lovely little details that make them so unique.

Once our basement was complete and we settled in with the furniture, I started perusing the local classified ad website for pianos.  Mitch and I looked at two pianos during the last week in November and I was sold on this one.  Not only was she beautiful, she was free!  The only cost we incurred (thus far) was hiring a moving company to get her from the previous owner's house to our house.

She isn't perfect but I never expected to find an old piano that was.  She has her fair share of chips, knicks, and scratches but there is history here and there is something very special about that.  Mitch and I will be getting her cleaned, tuned, and repaired (a minor - hoping minor! - pedal issue) in the near future and then it will be time to get these rusty fingers back in piano-playing shape!  I can't wait!

So while I may not have technically "bought" a piano, I now own one and can cross this task off my 101 in 1001 list.  What a wonderful day!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

2015 Ornaments

Christmas cheer has hit me full-force this year and boy am I having a wonderful time during the most wonderful time of the year!  I've gone nuts decorating, buying more decorations, and then decorating some more.  A Christmas book has been started, Christmas movies are being watched every chance I get, and two pans of my Christmas pretzels have been made (and almost completely consumed - solely by me!)  I'm hoping to share more photos and tidbits throughout the month but first things first:  2015 ornaments!

Mitch and I continued our tradition of bringing home a vacation Christmas ornament.  The Carnival Cruise Ship joined our collection during our Alaskan cruise.

And our Hallmark Keepsake ornament:

Dasher's Delivery

Santa needs a lot of help
to get letters where they should be.
He uses lots of speedy ways
like "Dasher's Delivery!"

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thankful Day 26

Thankful Day 26:  Today and every single minute of every single day, I'm thankful for the amazing family I have.  It was a wonderful holiday full of delicious food and fun people.  I'm beyond blessed.

Happy Thanksgiving!