Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013


When my mom invites you over for her delicious homemade chicken noodle and dumpling soup, you don't say no.  (Added bonus: It was the perfect lunch for this bitterly cold day - a high of -10 today!)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Randomosity From the Week

My drive home from work on Thursday was a very pretty one in the rear view mirrors.  While the snow often causes inconveniences and the temperatures are unbearable at times, there sure are gorgeous sights during the winter season.  (Okay, we're not "technically" in the winter season yet but Mother Nature doesn't listen to the calendar here in North Dakota!)

Last night I read about "Frito Feet" (oh, the random tidbits you stumble upon while skimming Pinterest).  After reading the article I had to say, "Huh, interesting; yeah, Crickett's paws do have a chip-like smell."  Crickett spends a good portion of her nights on my pillow with her paws in my face so while I've always noticed a smell, I never really pinpointed it to a food product until now and I find it interesting that it's a common thing among dogs.  Who knew bacteria could be so interesting?  You're off to go smell your dogs paws now, aren't you? ;)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Five Years Old

Our beautiful girl turned five today!  Happy Birthday, little Miss Crickett!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

2013 Ornament

On Saturday, Mitch and I bought our 2013 Hallmark Christmas ornament.

North Pole Tree Trimmers

This jolly little tree trimmer
is testing every light
to make sure every Christmas tree
will sparkle big and bright.
And right before he gives each bulb
that "Elf-Inspected" mark,
he adds a bit of extra Christmas magic
to its spark!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Tuesday Thrifting and Treats

On Tuesday, my sister and I visited our favorite thrift store's Christmas store.  It is a cozy, cute little place with so many wonderful things; it would have been easy to spend more than my hour-long lunch there.  It would have been easy to buy a cartload of stuff, too, but I restrained myself (mostly because I got overwhelmed) and came home with only this tin:

I'm regretting not buying more knick-knacks so I may venture back there again soon.  I only work two blocks away so it's a little too accessible!

After work that day, I made the first (of what will be MANY) batches of my Christmas pretzel treats.  These are the only things I make for the holiday but they are definitely all that needs to be made; Mitch and I have been eating them like crazy!  They are a little too delicious, the perfect combination of salty and sweet, crunchy and smooth.

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Christmas decorations came out the Saturday following Thanksgiving!  It was a wonderful afternoon and evening for me!  I have a few more things to do (the big finale is decorating the tree!) and then you can bet I'll be bombarding this blog with photos of my work.

November Tidbits: Books and Cameras

I mentioned in my last post that I was reading Chris Bohjalian's novel Before You Know Kindness.  Well, I made it to page 82 before I had to call it quits.  The book was slow-moving, repetitive, and I really didn't like any of the characters.  I am always hesitant about giving up on a book but I've come to the conclusion - and was backed by my cousin who voiced the same opinion - that life is too short to read books that do nothing for you.  So, I moved on to bigger and better things!

Nearly six years and thousands of pictures later, my husband mentioned upgrading our point-and-shoot camera.  Being the photography enthusiast I am, I wasn't going to argue with something new and better than what I currently had so the week before Thanksgiving we purchased a new camera.  I kinda sorta miss my old camera, the way I could just whip it out and know exactly how to get to the setting(s) I wanted, but I know once I actually start warming up to the new camera, the same feelings will unfold.  Time to capture more memories!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Fall Book Sale 2013

At the end of September, I checked out a book from the library and the following conversation took place:

Librarian: Did you get one of these? *points to a bookmark advertising the fall book sale*

Holly: No, but I don't need one; I already have it marked on my calendar.

Librarian: *Look of surprise then a big smile and lots of laughter*

Obviously that librarian doesn't know my history with the book sales.  I don't mess around with this event; it's an event I consider almost as wonderful as Christmas!

So on the first Thursday of October, I spent my lunch break at the library's used book sale.  This was the first time I'd ever gone on the first day of the event and if I thought there were books on the last day, boy was I wrong.  I think my jaw hit the floor when I saw the cartons and cartons of books stacked upon one another and on the floor under the tables; I wish I would have had more than an hour to spend looking at everything but I needed to go back to work to make the money that supports my book collecting habit!

While I didn't get the "special deal" that occurs on the last day of the book sale, I can't complain about the dollar-per-pound I was charged; 11 books for $8.00 is nothing to scoff at.  So, without further ado, here is a list of the books I brought home with me, a list of books still waiting to find a home on my already overflowing bookshelf:

Before You Know Kindness by Chris Bohjalian
The Feast of Love by Charles Baxter
She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb
While I was Gone by Sue Miller
Dewey by Vicki Myron
Blessings by Anna Quindlen
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Sophie's Choice by William Styron
Tuesday Night at the Blue Moon by Debbie Fuller Thomas

I finished The Help this past weekend and then watched the movie on Monday during my day off (yay for long weekends!).  While the movie was very good, it just didn't compare to the book in my opinion.  I can't form the same kind of connections I do with characters and/or situations in movies like I do in books.  I also have a hard time getting over the little details that are left out even though I understand that not every detail can be included in a movie (unless we want it to be several hours long).  I do have to say, however, that I was very impressed with how closely the producers stuck to the book's story line; that isn't always the case so kudos to them.  Anyhoo, I do believe The Help is one book I will not be donating back to the library for them to sell in the future; I want this one to stay on my shelf.

I am currently several chapters into Before You Know Kindness and enjoying it thus far.  I loved Bohjalian's Midwives (picked it up at the spring book sale and, like The Help, it is staying on my shelf instead of donating back to the library) so we'll see how this one compares.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Halloween Decorations 2013

Here are the 2013 additions to my Halloween decorations.  I'm very excited about them; I'm also quite excited about forgetting I bought them until I open up my orange and black tubs next season!

The book stack and little black cat are from Hobby Lobby (Bought the book stack at only 40% off because I didn't want to miss out on having it - one of the few things I've ever bought from Hobby Lobby at less than 50% off!  Kind of strange paying "so much" for a decoration there.); the Happy Halloween town and fake black candle from Kohl's (Free!!!  We used our $10 Kohl's cash and our total came to $9.65!!!); the skull from Target (can you believe I didn't have a skull of any sorts in my collection?!); the gravestone markers from a local thrift shop (So stoked when I found those - I don't think I've ever looked at thrift stores for decorations before.  You can believe I'll be doing it again in the future!).

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Book Quote: The Help

I'm currently reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett and thoroughly enjoying it.  It's one of those books I hate putting down; I want to keep learning more about the great characters, hear more of their interesting stories.  I'm almost finished with the novel and have plans to watch the movie as soon as I'm done.

My favorite line from the novel so far:

"All I'm saying is, kindness don't have no boundaries."

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween Decorations 2012

These were the decorations that came home with me last year.  I've thoroughly enjoyed looking at them this past month and will be sad to see them go in a few days.

I've bought a couple of new decorations this year; hoping to buy a few more if there's anything left on clearance next week.  It's always fun getting new items at the end of a season, putting them away right away, then being surprised the next year when it comes time to decorate again. Stay tuned for this year's finds!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Thirty Days

My sister and I visited one of our favorite thrift stores today during my lunch break.  I found a couple of good things but what got me most excited was seeing this sign:

Yes, I know Halloween hasn't even come and gone yet but for some reason I've been extra excited (extra early!) for Christmas this year.  So, while I refrained from visiting the Christmas store today - I'm going to enjoy Halloween and Thanksgiving as they deserve to be enjoyed (both great themselves) - on November 29th, it's all about my favorite holiday.  In 30 days, I have permission from myself to go back to the thrift store and purchase oodles of glorious Christmas knick-knacks!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Next Year

The kiddos went back to school today.  Unfortunately, our little girl didn't make the cut-off to attend this year; next year! ;)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Replication (With an Addition)

This year on our anniversary, Mitch and I happened to be at the location of some of our wedding photos.  This has never happened (and probably won't happen again for several more years) so I wanted to do a little something special; I told Mitch I wanted to re-create one of the photos from our wedding day.  My husband humored me and I love how it turned out (and I adore the furry little addition we added)!

The original: August 4, 2007

Replication: August 4, 2013

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sunday Smile - Six Years

Cannot believe that Mitch and I celebrate our six-year anniversary today!  Time sure is flying!

Sunday, June 2, 2013


Thirty-two is going to be a wonderful year.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Grandpa Pete

A year ago today my Grandpa Pete left this world for a better place.  While my heart hurts and I still miss my grandfather terribly, I continue to focus on the wonderful years I did have with him.  My family and I were so blessed to have such an amazing man in our lives.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Snapshot Saturday: Art

What art offers is space - a certain breathing room for the spirit.
~John Updike~

Thursday, May 9, 2013


If I had to describe the past few months in one word, it would have to be blur.  A busy blurry but more so an apathetic blurry.  I have not been present like I should be; I've taken to floating from one moment to the next, hoping to simply "get through" what I need to so I can retreat to my still, quiet mind as quickly as possible.  I haven't noticed a lot of scenery along life's path these past several months; I've missed so, so many details.

While washing my hands the other day I noticed the reflection of the vanity lights in the bathroom clock and I felt that familiar, but long-forgotten, feeling of excitement over catching a tiny little detail that I'd never noticed before.  I smiled because not only was I present, I was present during the mundane task of hand-washing

Life is so much better when you're seeing the details.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Fresh Air

Windows open, fresh air flowing through the house; one of the many reasons I adore spring.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Spring Book Sale 2013

Today I attended the library's used book sale with my sister and dad.  It was a very happy morning looking at books upon books with two of my most favorite people in the whole world.
I scored 17 books for $3.00 and I'm pretty thrilled about my finds (am I ever not ecstatic to bring more books into my house?).

The Christmas Train by David Baldacci

Wish You Well by David Baldacci

Open House by Elizabeth Berg

Midwives by Chris Bohjalian which is currently on my nightside table.  Just a few pages in but already enjoying it immensely.

The Book of Dead Birds by Gayle Brandeis

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides which I've read already but thought it was great and wanted it in my collection.

Sullivan's Island by Dorothea Benton Frank

Here on Earth by Alice Hoffman

The Preacher by Camilla Lackberg

Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingslover

I'm Proud of You: My Friendship with Fred Rogers by Tim Madigan which I've never read but just seeing the picture on the cover and reading the description melted my heart.  Looking forward to this book.

Foxfire by Joyce Carol Oates

The Dressmaker by Elizabeth Birkelund Oberbeck

Songs for the Missing by Stewart O'Nan

White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi

Busy Woman Seeks Wife by Annie Sanders

Happiness Sold Separately by Lolly Winston

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Ninja Turtle Birthday

Happy Birthday to my wonderful mother-in-law!  I hope the next year is a great one!

 (Do you like the birthday cake my husband picked out for his mom?  He claims it was the only one available since we didn't pre-order but I have my doubts . . .)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Five Friday Snapshots

Five things around the office that put a smile on my face.

My puppy calendar

A co-worker's plant

Holly wrapping paper in the storage room

The view from the copy machine

A co-worker's daily quote board

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Today I am pretending the warmth from my space heater at work is really a breeze blowing on me as I lay on the beach in Mexico. *Sigh*

I obviously still have the "back from vacation" blues. *Sigh*

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sunday Smile

Mitch and I vacationed with some friends earlier this month and I've had the "back to reality" blues ever since our return.  A friend posted this on my Facebook wall several days ago and it made me laugh:

"The perfect antidote for the 'why did I come back from vacation' blues!!!"

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Every Day Valentines

Nobody has ever measured, even poets, how much a heart can hold.
~Zelda Fitzgerald~

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Four Years Ago

Four years ago today this little girl joined our family.  I can't even begin to describe what a blessing it's been to have had this time with Crickett; she's given us so much love and so many wonderful memories.  Not a day goes by that I don't thank my lucky stars for this beautiful little soul and all the happiness she has brought us.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Numbers

I knew from my lack of writing that my blogging was extremely poor in 2012 but I like to see things in number form so I thought I'd look at my "It's a Numbers Game - 2012 Edition," to get an idea on how poorly!

It's a Numbers Game - 2012
January: 4/15
February: 5/11
March: 7/18
April: 7/20
May: 4/17
June: 7/19
July: 3/23
August: 7/20
September: 5/30
October: 1/21
November: 19/16
December: 3/17
TOTAL: 72/227 = 31.72%

Yikes!  I didn't even blog half of what I was hoping to do!  I love playing this game (even though every time I've played, I've failed) so I'm going to attempt it again this year. So, here we go!

It's a Numbers Game - 2013
January - 15
February - 11
March - 18
April - 20
May - 17
June - 19
July - 23
August - 20
September - 30
October - 21
November - 20
December - 17
Total - 231

Happy Blogging!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Fixing Problems

Where to start, where to start.

Well, life has been moving at warp speed this month (the past couple of months, actually) and I often don't know if I'm coming or going.  Perhaps I should say that life is moving at the same speed it's always moved but I'm just not as in control as I should be or would like to be.  I've got to fix that problem.

This poor blog (how many times have I said that?)!  I'm so sad that I've let it fall by the wayside.  I'm very disappointed that I haven't been documenting all the little things that I see, hear, and feel on a regular basis.  The big things I will remember and will get caught up on eventually (Florida vacation from 2011, anyone?  Oy!) but those fun little tidbits that make life so unique and interesting each and every day are gone.  I've got to fix that problem.

So, here's to fixing problems!  Grabbing life by the horns and documenting it along the way!  I have to remember that things won't be perfect despite the fact that I want them to be but they'll get better and life is about progress, not perfection.

Time to get going on that progress!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year 2013

Approach the New Year with resolve to find the opportunities hidden in each new day.
~Michael Josephson~