Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to my wonderful father-in-law! One year closer to retirement!

I hope everyone has a fun and safe New Year's Eve! See you in 2009!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

House Update

Here is a little house update.

Our heat pump has been installed and will be working when we move in.

My husband, his uncle, and our fathers installed the laminate flooring that runs throughout the living room, kitchen, dining room and hallway. The only carpet on the main floor will be in the two bedrooms and that is supposed to be completed by the flooring company today.

The flooring company has tiled both the bathrooms and entry-way.

Closet shelves/rods have been installed and doors hung. Trim has been put up around the doors and the baseboards are in.

Bathroom vanities and lights have been installed. Mirrors, toilets, shower heads, and curtain rods have also been installed (for some reason I haven't taken any photos on our recent trips up to the house).

Kitchen cabinets, counters, and lights are all in. The sink, dishwasher, and microwave have also been installed since this photo.

Tomorrow we have our final walk-through with the contractor and on Friday we close on our house! I can't hardly wait!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas, Parts 2-5

The movie "Four Christmases" has nothing on me this year - I got to celebrate five Christmases! Needless to say, it's been a crazy week!

On Christmas Eve, my parents, sister, and I headed out of town to spend the holiday with extended family (hubby had to work). We attended mass then spent the evening with my mom's side of the family. It was a fun and crazy time like usual and I got to have "Mint Dazzle" (pictured) for the first time in a couple of years. It's the highlight of the evening - no presents can top that dessert.

On Christmas Day, my parents, sister, and I spent the afternoon with my dad's side of the family. This year was a little quiet (a couple families were missing) and the dessert table not as crowded as usual (that doesn't mean there still wasn't too much to eat), but it was still a magical time. I ended up playing "Loaded Questions" with some of my cousins. If you haven't played this game before, check it out. It's a lot of fun and a it's a great group game.

Christmas night was spent with my husband and his parents. This was my third Christmas with their family and the third year that I didn't take any photos. Next year, there have to be photos! My husband received a new paper shredder from his parents, which will come in beyond handy for him since he shreds basically anything he touches (and I'm not even kidding). I received the entire Willow Tree Nativity Set from my in-laws and parents. I can hardly wait to set it all up next year!

On the 26th, the in-laws, husband, and I headed out of town to spend the day with my mother-in-law's family. I don't think I could have married into a more delightful group of people. They are a lot of fun and I enjoy spending time with them. At the conclusion of the white elephant gift exchange, I ended up with three king size Hershey bars. It was the coveted gift this year so I consider myself quite lucky to have come out on top after all the exchanges! As you might imagine, the gift is coming in quite handy.

Now we're all home and things are slowly getting back to normal. Another wonderful year of celebrating! I hope you all had a great holiday!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, everyone!! God bless!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas, Part 1

Last night, my husband and I opened presents with my parents and sister. As always, it was a wonderful time. There is nothing quite like sitting around the glow of the tree, Christmas tunes filling your ears, sharing gifts with the ones you love.

My sister with pillows for her movie room. My sister has no furniture in the movie room of her house, but is instead is filling it with pillows and other soft things for guests to relax on. It's a great space! (Look at my dad in the background wearing his new scarf while reading one of his new books! He always makes us laugh, especially when he's not even trying!)

Me with a new filter for my camera. Now if only the weather would cooperate for me to get outside and get some nice winter photos!

My husband looking for the studs in my parents walls. I can not begin to describe how much fun he was having with this gift! He went on and on about how excited he was to have received the stud-finder and I have no doubt I will see him using it more than necessary in our home!

My sister again wins the award for most thoughtful gifts. Almost every year, she will make our presents rather than going out and buying anything. This year we all received paintings from our little artist. On the back of each painting, she tucked in a little note about the painting itself and those things about the recipient that inspired parts of the painting. It's been a lot of fun growing up with someone so talented and creative.

My parents with their paintings.

My husband and me with our paintings.

Last, but not least, my husband and me with our wedding present from my sister. (If you know my sister, you know that late - sometimes VERY LATE - is her style.) Better late than never, especially with something so beautiful! The artist's words about the painting: "The top symbolizes 'through calm or stormy weather...' Underneath, I thought of hills and overcoming things together. The spirals make me think of life, birth."

Another beautiful Christmas with my family! I'm so very blessed!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Slowly Moving In

Holiday cheer is slowly moving in. Not in great quantities or in high qualities like previous years, but it's getting here.

This afternoon my husband and I did a little bit of Christmas shopping and present wrapping (when I say "we" wrapped presents, I mean my husband wrapped and I slapped on the bows - wrapping presents beautifully is not high on my skill list).

This evening we went to "Christmas in the Park,"

then cuddled under the jean quilt and watched a couple of Christmas movies. (My husband saw "A Christmas Story" tonight for the first time and agreed with me that it isn't all that great. Perhaps it's one of those movies you have to grow up with to appreciate?)

Tomorrow night, the celebrating begins. My husband and I will be opening presents with my parents and sister and I don't doubt it will be a marvelous time just like it is every year.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

No Christmas Bug

I cannot believe that Christmas is only 4 days away. I'm a little bummed that it's come upon us so quickly because I have yet to catch the Christmas "bug." It just hasn't felt like Christmas time and I'm sad that I don't yet feel the special magic the holiday usually sprinkles over me.

I did feel a bit of the magic on Friday evening when I helped my mom make Christmas treats and then again on Saturday when I got to watch a couple of Christmas movies, but other than those few hours there just hasn't been enough holiday cheer. I hope the magic finds me in the next few days otherwise it will be even more sad to see my favorite holiday come and go.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Find

Yay for this Friday! Christmas break has officially started! What ever will I do with 16 days off?

Another yay for buttons! I found an awesome website called The Button Drawer which boasts "the world's most extensive source" of buttons. I plan on buying them all.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Things You See, Part 2

In September, one of my students made my correcting a lot more enjoyable with a bit of his art. Well, he's done it again.

And I'll say it again: 9th-graders are interesting.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Bigger Picture

I thought I would post a few more photos of the (almost finished!) walls so you can start to see the bigger picture. I told my husband our house looks like a crayon box exploded. While I know the colors aren't for everyone, I'm in love with them. I've never lived anywhere with color and boy is it going to be fun!

The yellow you see is the back side of our kitchen pantry, the green wall is in our kitchen, and the tan runs along the hallway and down the stairway into the entry.

The giant yellow living room and dining room wall. My wishes for the kitchen/dining room was a lemon-lemon lime theme. Lucky for me, my husband was brave and let me roll with this idea. I cannot wait to start decorating!

Our kitchen walls (again, the yellow is the pantry). Isn't it fun how the ladder matches the walls? We're going to keep it as part of the decor.

The main bathroom. This photo really doesn't do the color justice, but believe me when I say it's so very pretty. I'm a little biased, though.

The master bathroom. We chose a "mild" color because our bedroom is a little intense.

The master bedroom. I'm glad my husband and I agreed on a black bedroom set - I think it's going to look great with this color. I cannot wait to see it all together!

The only walls that remain white right now are in the office. When (if) my husband and I have kids, the office will become the nursery and we'll paint then. For now, though, it's the only place for the eyes to get a little rest.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Fun Phone Call

My husband talked to the dog breeder today; her dog had a litter on Friday morning and she now has two females for us to choose from! I cannot wait to go visit and meet the first addition to our family! It's beyond exciting!

It's been a wonderful weekend on our end! I hope you've all had a nice weekend as well!

*Thanks to everyone who gave such nice comments on "Painting Party." *

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Painting Party

My husband and I, along with all the parents and my sister, were able to get into the house today and tackle round one of painting. It was a lot of fun and the house looks even more like a home now!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Real Teacher

I jinxed myself. Last week I had the wonderful realization that I hadn't been sick at all during the school year. Guess who came down with a cold/flu bug over the weekend? Ugh! Needless to say, I don't have it in me to go to school today.

I hate calling in sick. I always think the person I'm dealing with doesn't believe me. Not only that, I think I'm a "real" teacher now. It never bothered me before to miss a day of school - I always figured "life goes on and school will continue as normal when I return tomorrow." Well, I do not have a single day to spare right now - there is absolutely no "wiggle room." I had each and every day until the end of the semester (which is approaching extremely fast) filled with something we absolutely had to cover and now this day is going to throw a wrench into all of my plans. I now know what all those other teachers were getting so worked up about. I'm going to chalk this up to another lesson on how to be flexible.

I hope your week is starting out better than mine!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday Find

I don't think my Friday Finds will benefit you in any way today other than to provide you with a good head shake and a chuckle. There are definitely some ridiculous items out there and it makes me smile to think about how interesting the people who come up with these things must be.

Shortly after I wrote about my husband's oatmeal bacon cookie breakfast, my cousin came upon this.

I saw this a month or two ago in one of my magazines.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Busy and Quiet

Not only has life been insanely busy these past two weeks, but I've also been in a very "quiet" mood which means my blog has been neglected. It's not that there aren't things for me to share, it's just that I haven't felt like sitting down to write when I have had time. I do hope I feel like blogging soon because even though I'm not in the mood, I still miss it. Does that make any sense?

I'll leave you with a couple of pictures from the house. They have finished sheet rocking the interior of the house and have now started siding the exterior. It's hard to believe we'll be living there in just a few weeks!

Living room

Kitchen and dining room

Main bathroom
Master bedroom closet (My husband has this silly idea that he gets half the closet!)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Honey-Do Santa

My husband and I found our 2008 Hallmark Keepsake Christmas ornament. While we may not have a tree to hang it on this year, we look forward to next year when we can display him along with the others. I'm so very excited about our growing collection! Do any of you collect ornaments?

Honey-Do Santa

Mrs. Claus has lots of chores -
she wrote them one by one.
So now it's time for Fix-It Claus
to try and get them done.
He's got the tools to do the job,
but can't believe his eyes -
How could this list of honey-dos
have grown to Santa size?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I have been a horrible blogger these past two weeks - no fun, no fun at all! For some reason work got more crazy than normal. I'm not sure how or why, but I'm hoping with this four-day weekend that I can get things under control again. I know you've all missed my wonderful stories and ramblings, so I'm going to work real hard at getting caught up on the work front so that I have time to entertain you with more consistent posts. (Humor me, ladies!)

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend!! Happy Thanksgiving!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

An Old Post

I was organizing some files on my computer this afternoon and came across a word document containing the posts from my first blog. There were only three (I was a not a good blogger!) and below is the only post I felt was worth saving.

Future Full of Laughter – May 9, 2007

My fiancé and I picked out our clothing last night for our upcoming engagement pictures. It was interesting, probably more interesting than it needed to be.

I am ridiculous. Should I ever forget this, I know I'll have my other half there to remind me just as he so kindly did last night. (Perhaps we should include that in our vows. "I promise to always remind you when you're being crazy.")

Did you know that if you coordinate your clothing even a little, then you're trying too hard? Apparently, that's how it works. However, if you wear things that don't match, you look messy and just plain laughable. As you could imagine, this left us in quite a predicament. What are you supposed to do in a situation like this? Well, I was hoping the clothing gods would drop some beautifully coordinated but not-coordinated outfits into our hands and the job would be done. Believe it or not, that didn't happen. We were left to fend for ourselves. Let me tell you, it was tough. That was one hour of hard work. (I do realize that it shouldn't have taken a whole hour.)

It was a memorable hour. I received a lot in those sixty minutes. I got numerous eye rolls and sighs, several comments on my mental stability, but most importantly, a glimpse of my future. A future full of laughter.

Friday, November 21, 2008

104th Class

Yesterday was a very special day for my husband. After twelve long weeks of training, he joined the 104th class of the North Dakota Law Enforcement Training Academy in their graduation ceremony.

Yesterday was also a very special day for my father-in-law. Not only did he give the class's commencement speech, but he got to watch his youngest son follow in his footsteps.

It was a beautiful day and I'm very proud to have both of these men in my life.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Time for Tights

My husband watches in disbelief as I cover myself with layer after layer. He shakes his head at the charade that is me getting dressed during the winter season.

Getting dressed November through March is a time-consuming task for me. During these five months I must wear my long-sleeve underwear, a second long-sleeve shirt, and a sweatshirt or sweater. On the bottom half, I must wear my hideously bright purple (or aqua) tights, knee-high socks, and pants. Only then, after I have all these items on, will I stand a chance at being warm. It doesn't guarantee 100% comfort, but it gets me pretty darn close on most occasions.

My husband may think I'm ridiculous, but I bet he's also thinking how hot I look in my tights. You have to admit, they are pretty sexy.

(Okay, they're not sexy and my husband informed me that I'm definitely not hot in them. Winter isn't my season.)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Temporary Key

On Friday, my husband and I got the "temporary key" to our house! The fact that our house is far enough along that it needs locking up is pretty exciting to me! We also met with the electrician on the project and completed our "walk-through." We discussed placement and types of lighting, outlets, phone and cable jacks, etc. It sounds like the wiring could be started as early as Tuesday!

View from the dining room. The kitchen pantry is what you see framed in front of you and in the background you can see part of the living room and the entry-way/stairway.

View from what will be a bedroom in the basement. The bath bay is currently in my scrapbooking room.

Only a month or so until this is really ours!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Find

If you're interested in creating a new header for your blog, check out this site. I've seen a few blogs that have made their headers there and they look great!

For more Friday Finds, visit Amber at Viva Voce.

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Breakfast Dessert

My favorite part of today's "after-work" conversation:

Mitch: "Guess what we had for breakfast at the Academy today."

Holly: "What?"

Mitch: "Potato pancakes."

Holly: "I've heard those are supposed to be good."

Mitch: "They were disgusting."

Holly: "Okay then."

Mitch: "We also had poached eggs that weren't cooked all the way through."

Holly: "Gross."

Mitch: "Oh and get this - the cook made breakfast dessert."

Holly: "Every meal should have dessert."

Mitch: "It was oatmeal bacon cookies."

Holly: "What?"

Mitch: "Oatmeal bacon cookies."

Holly: "Oh..."

Mitch: "They were pretty gross."

(Insert lots of digusted faces from my husband and lots of laughter from me throughout the conversation.)

I don't know about you, but I don't think bacon really has a place in the dessert section of any cookbook.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Framing, Part 2

Our house is starting to look like a house! It's exciting to see how far things have come since last week!