Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Book Club Member

I was recently invited to join a Facebook book club.  As I'm sure you can imagine, I was completely giddy when I received the invite.  I've always wanted to be part of a book club and now I am!

The book chosen for February is Boy's Life by Robert R. McCammon.  I'm excited about this read (it was the novel I voted on, after all) and excited to hear what the others think about it.

Interesting side note:  I started the book on Sunday evening (yes, a bit early but I'm a slow reader so I figured it was okay); within the first twenty pages, the narrator witnesses a car plunging over an embankment into a lake.  Also on Sunday evening, a woman here in my hometown reported seeing a car sinking into our river.  Crazy coincidence, huh? 

Happy reading!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Young at Heart

My dad is retired.  My dad is also young at heart.  This combination resulted in a sledding ramp built around a cottonwood tree in my parent's backyard.

I stole these photos from my sister's Facebook page after she shared them today.  They are probably two of my favorite pictures now; they capture my dad perfectly.  And to steal my sister's quote, "He's pretty much the coolest 60-year old I know."

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Time to Accessorize

Four pieces of jewelry have been added to my collection this past month.  Excited to have them and look forward to wearing them (once I get over the usual worry I have that I look silly in jewelry).

I received this adorable necklace from my mother-in-law for Christmas.  She purchased it from The Animal Rescue Site which helped fund 28 bowls of dog food for a shelter.  Isn't that wonderful?  Such a great idea for the dog-lovers in your life!

I received these beautiful earrings from my mom for Christmas.  I love all the vibrant colors dyed in the soft thread and the magical teardrop shape.

I've been eyeing necklaces like this one for several years and decided to finally just go ahead and buy one for myself.

The Etsy seller from whom I bought the book and spectacle necklace sent along a pair of earrings as a thank you.  Such a lovely surprise to find in my already exciting package!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Google Today

In honor of Dian Fossey's 82nd birthday, here is what Google is displaying today (LOVE it!):

Dian Fossey was a zoologist best known for the two decades she spent studying and protecting the endangered gorillas of the Rwandan mountain forest.  While reading about Ms. Fossey today,  I learned that the movie I saw about her when I was very, very young - "Gorillas in the Mist" - is actually based on the novel she wrote; I had no idea! You can bet I will be adding her novel to my "must-read" list right now.  While I know it's going to be heartbreaking (I still remember how upsetting the movie was), I think it will be a fascinating read.

A wonderful photo of Ms. Fossey

and a beautiful quote from Ms. Fossey

"The more you learn about the dignity of the gorilla, the more you want to avoid people."

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Mexico Christmas Ornament

Per our tradition of buying a Christmas ornament on every vacation we take, here is the bulb Mitch and I bought when we visited Mexico last February.  I love the vibrant colors and the fact that you have to turn it all the way around to get the full effect of its beauty.  Definitely one of my favorites we've brought home!

Christmas in Every Room

Yesterday I started putting the Christmas decorations away.  It's been a slow process - mostly because I don't want to do it - but it's already looking empty and less cheerful around here.

I do believe our dresser is the only area that remains untouched at this point in time.

I think that's because I'm extra fond of this area.  Normally I have wedding mementos on our dresser and have never taken them off for other decorations; they have felt a bit like permanent fixtures but this year I decided they didn't have to be and changed things up.  I love that I did this and will certainly be doing it again next year.

It's nice having lots of Christmas magic in every room.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Christmas 2013 Recap, Part 2

Christmas, Round 4 was spent with several of my girlfriends.  I'm very lucky to have met such wonderful women at this age (roller derby brought them all into my life); they are truly some of the best friends I've ever had.

Christmas, Round 5 (the final round!) was spent with my family.  We ate dinner, opened presents, and then played a new game.  My sister's boyfriend got Telestrations from my parents and we decided to give it a try.  It was a great game and I highly recommend it; be prepared to laugh A LOT!  I even took photos to document this round of celebrating so here you go!

Photos in front of the tree before present opening begins.

Mitch always gets lots of gift cards for Christmas.  Makes for exciting photos, doesn't it?

My sister was pretty excited about cleaning her hair with Burt's Bees shampoo and conditioner!

Mittens made by my sister!  They are the warmest mittens I have ever had (and the insides are so soft!).

Movie and book for the retirees.  Don't want them getting bored, after all!

I suspect there will be at least one or two more Christmas posts in this blog's future.  Just not ready to be done talking about my favorite holiday season yet!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Christmas 2013 Recap, Part 1

I had five rounds of Christmas this year which thrilled me to no end!  I tell everyone (and have probably said it before on this blog) that my parents named me appropriately; it's the perfect name for this Christmas-obsessed gal!

Christmas, Round One took place a few days before Christmas with Mitch's extended family at his uncle's lake cabin.  The cozy house and beautiful scenery reminded me of a movie; I wish I would have taken a photo or two (2013 was definitely a year of slacking in the photography department).  Anyhoo, the day was filled with good food, humorous conversations, and a fun gift swap game at the end of the evening.  I walked away with one of the two coveted purses.  I'm pretty excited about it, particularly because it's covered in buttons.

Christmas, Round Two took place on Christmas Day with extended family on my dad's side.  As always, the food was delicious, the treats incredible, and the family amazing.  Sadly I have no photos of any of those things (told you I've been slacking!).

Christmas, Round Three took place on December 26th with Mitch and his parents (I'm sharing the specific date with you so I can show you the photo of this decoration my mother-in-law had out!  Wonderfully humorous, isn't it?)

After I got off from work (I've decided that I don't like working the day after Christmas so I'm taking it off next year if I'm able), we ate a tasty dinner, opened presents, then played Mexican Train dominoes (probably one of my all-time favorite games).  It was a great evening and I actually took several photos!

Rizzo and Crickett waiting to open presents.

My father-in-law trying to open his present.  Apparently dogs get very excited about golf gift certificates.

My mother-in-law with her new luggage.

Mitch is a fan of the Chicago Cubs and apparently he wants them to win a World Series sometime during his life; I've told him he shouldn't pick a team with the nickname "The Lovable Losers" if he wants that to happen.  Of course he had to be a dork when I asked him to hold up his shirt.

Holly got holly items for Christmas!  Aren't they great?!

I love my mother-in-law's Christmas decorations, especially her gingerbread houses.  They are so pretty and cozy!

Monday, January 6, 2014

To Me, From Me

I didn't find much for Christmas clearance this season which was kind of disappointing but I didn't walk away empty-handed so not a complete loss.  I'll just have to up my efforts next season!  (Step One: Taking December 26th off from work!)

The Christmas presents I got myself include a charming tree and pretty bird from Hancock Fabrics and a little Christmas town set from Jo-Ann Fabric.

The tree stands about two feet tall and I think I might be able to keep it up after Christmas is over because the theme is more winter than Christmas.  What do you think?

I love all the textures; I discovered in the past year or so that I really like burlap.

I think the newspaper covering makes this the perfect decoration to sit by my bookshelf.

I've like the shiny, scuffed up look of this little metal guy.  Happy to finally have a bird in my collection; I've been eyeing a few the last couple of years but never brought one home until now.

I'm pretty excited about this little set; I think it's absolutely adorable and can't wait to set it up next year!  The largest tree is about six inches tall so the small size of this arrangement gives me many options for a future home!

Did you find any good Christmas decorations this year?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sunday Smile

Bitterly cold arctic air is making it's way through our region so I thought this would be the perfect picture to share for Sunday Smile.

Some library out there has a great sense of humor!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Hello 2014

I cannot believe the alarming rate at which 2013 rushed by, leaving this poor little blog and me in the dust!  I sure hope 2014 decides to take on a slower pace, particularly during non-working hours.  I also hope that I learn to use my time a little more wisely (Oh, Pinterest, you incredibly wonderful time-sucker!).  And while there was nothing wrong with 2013, I'm excited to move on and see what 2014 has in store.  I have a very good feeling about this year even if I don't particularly like writing it on paper (sharp fours don't flow from the hand like round threes do).

As I get my thoughts and photos organized I plan to do a recap of those 2013 tidbits and events I didn't get around to talking about during the year.  For example, a little trip we took to Mexico (honestly can't believe I haven't posted anything about that vacation)!  For now, though, here are some random musings from my first three days of 2014.

New Year's Day was quiet and relaxing.  I had the day off from work and spent most of it reading, perusing Pinterest, finishing up a special list (update to follow!), watching a movie (Steel Magnolias was on television and I couldn't tear myself away; that movie gets me every.single.time!), and of course cuddling with Crickett.  While perusing Pinterest, I came upon this beautiful quote about the new year and thought I should share here (the art in the background is a section of of one of my sister's paintings - her work is so beautiful!):

My first work day of 2014 didn't get off to a great start; I woke up to my husband asking me if I was going in and when I looked at the clock I discovered I had overslept by 45 minutes.  Definitely a heart-racing way to start the day!  I think I can count on one hand the number of times I've overslept in my life and I'm hoping to never have to use my other hand to start counting.  I still managed to make it to work on time but I think 2014 is trying to tell me to look out, it's going to keep me on my toes!  Hey, at least I didn't miss my live morning television show. ;)

Al Roker Oversleeps

Yesterday was a very odd January day.  The high was 40 degrees - which in itself is a strange temperature to be seeing this month - and we got rain.  January and rain definitely don't go hand in hand here in North Dakota.  Of course, everything froze over night (some impressive sheets of ice out on the driveways and streets), and we are now back to living in our much more common, below-zero January temperatures.  (Tomorrow's HIGH is -20 degrees with windchill possibly reaching -50 degrees.  Oy!)

Be back soon!