Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Dear Blog World....

Dear Blog,

Long time, no write. And I have to say, I haven't missed you a bit. It's amazing how much more I can get done without you. I still love to check other blogs and keep up on everyone, but not spending the time on my own is nice. Is that fair? I won't forget you. Maybe just not so often. You see, I'm in a major nesting phase right now and have so many things to get done!

Christmas was wonderful except for a little stomach issue I had. Nothing major, just kept me from enjoying all the good food. I'm slowly making up for it and am really looking forward to New Year's treats. We've been gone so much the past two weeks and got back on Saturday from my parent's house and within 2 hours we had the decorations down. I love that we started celebrating Christmas early this year and want to do it again, but it also made me ready to have it all be over. It is nice to have a normal week to focus on just us again and get things done around the house. Nesting, I say. I dropped off 5 bags to Goodwill this morning and there's so much more I want to go through too. And then getting all the rooms ready?? Can't wait!

Baby sister is moving like crazy and I l-o-v-e it. I'm am getting so anxious to meet this little one. Still nameless, but we're the name Baby Sister is really starting to sound nice. I think this is partially why I'm not experiencing any after Christmas blues. There is so much to look forward to! We're having a birthday party for Henry tomorrow night, meeting my family on Saturday for another party, and then the big day is Sunday when my little baby boy is turning 2. I can't believe it. Yeah, I can't talk about that right now.

No pictures from Christmas because I forgot my camera, but it was filled with fun times with all my nieces and nephews and Pop-pop and Ga-Ga.

I'm off! Henry is napping and RJ's brother is coming tonight with his family to spend a few days. Fun!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

Well, RJ and I cheated and opened our presents tonight. We weren't going to buy each other anything, then it went up to a $10 limit, and then it nudged itself up to a $25. I got him some fun things and he got me the best gift ever....a set of white dishes! It's ridiculous how long I've wanted new dishes so I'm sure he got them partially so he could stop hearing me talk about it all the time. But it's hard to justify buying new ones when I already have 2 other sets, so getting it as a gift is perfect! Apparently he snuck around at IKEA to buy them and had his brother bring them home with them. So needless to say, I'm pretty pumped.
RJ has to work tomorrow and I'm meeting another mom or two at the mall who also have husband's who have to work. Then we're off to NW Iowa. It has been a crazy few weeks around here. I'm so looking forward to Christmas with my family, but am also looking forward to getting home and staying here for a while! :)
Merry Christmas, everyone!

Monday, December 22, 2008

We're Ba-aaaccckkkk.

This face cracks me up. He's wearing a sweatshirt of mine from when I was little. My mom didn't save much, but so glad she saved this!!
Did lots of running around.
New favorite food. Cheese Balls. I am pledging right here and now that he will never see another one until next Christmas. He gets obsessed with them!
Henry's most favorite toy ever.
Jude, Henry, Olivia and Sophia. Buds.
Olivia and Sophia having a dance party.

Going for a spin. He loved it!

Miss Sophia blinded by the sun.

Sledding down the hill with daddy!

What a great week we had in Minnesota! We left last Monday and got back last night. We got there around 9:30 and let Henry play before we put him back to bed. He was in a fantastic mood and then he suddenly started crying and came to me and threw up. He did this 2 other times in about 1/2 an hour and then that was it. He woke up completely normal and hyper the next day and never acted sick again. Thank goodness. I don't know if it was something he ate or a very quick flu bug, but when it started I think we were all envisioning a horrible week of everyone getting sick! He seems to come up with a sudden illness every time we go to Minnesota. Kind of weird.

Our surprise attack at the airport was a great success and it was so good to Ross, Piper, and Sophia. RJ's oldest brother and family joined us on Thursday. We played a lot of games, ate a lot of food, went sledding, and of course did some shopping! On Saturday we left early for Minneapolis even though the weather was a bit questionable. We knew we could make it but just weren't sure if we could make it back. We decided it was worth the risk. And it was! We all went to IKEA and enjoyed a very small crowd there, the likes of which I've never seen. I got some great stuff for Henry's big boy room and the nursery and I can't wait to get them started, which I plan to do after New Year's. Of course it is so fun to think about decorating a little girl's room since it's so natural to like girly things, but I'm trying really hard to put as much effort into every detail of my little boy's room too. The best part was that the funds were from the Sticks piece I sold so in a way it felt like "free" money. We also went to the Big Mall of course, and the kids swam that day and the next morning. Henry did really well with it and it was so great to see since he had been scared of the pool last summer. We headed back down on Sunday afternoon to try and get through the blizzard in day light. There were some areas where we couldn't see too well, but the roads weren't bad at all so it only took us an extra 30 minutes. All in all, it was great! I love spending time with RJ's family. The children get along well and so do us adults. Henry loves his Pop-pop and it's so fun to see the two of them. I just wish we could all be together more than twice a year! Henry only went to bed at his 7:00 bedtime once all week, so he's already down for his nap and I'm hoping for a nice long one......
The clothes got unpacked and went straight into the washing machine so we can get ready for our next trip up to my parent's house. I'm really looking forward to that as well....especially to see my new baby niece!
Hope you all had a great weekend. This Christmas season has been such a joyous one for our family and I hope it has for yours as well.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


I'm wasting some time before I have to paint. RJ just left to work and Henry is in bed.

Last night we loaded up our little family and went to McDonald's to grab some supper and then went to Jolly Holiday lights. Henry got to sit on my lap and eat his chicken nuggets. It was a lot of fun! Then we went to church to our Christmas "box party" where we package up lots of boxes for Hope Ministries full of essentials. Great time. This morning, Henry treated us to sleeping in until 9:15!! So naturally, I was up at 4:30 and couldn't get back to sleep. Don't you hate it when that happens? By the time the boys had gotten up, I had baked a whole batch of cookies and worked on 2 paintings. We ventured out to Keller's Kountry Store by Dallas Center and then to Pickett Fence Creamery. I highly recommend both, especially Keller's! (thanks for the tip, Londa!) It's a tiny shop full of both healthy and regular foods. I got a ton of supplies to make a great batch of granola and some very fun sprinkles for Christmas cookies that were seriously way cheap! Then we ran a few errands and got home to nap. I love days of making little trips as a family. Those are my favorite.

Tomorrow is the children's program at church and RJ's work has a kid's Christmas party in the afternoon. Can't wait! It will be Henry's first experience meeting Santa. Could be interesting....

Now I've got 2 more paintings to work on and then we're heading on to our vacation! I'm so excited. We're surprising RJ's brother and wife and their little Sophia at the airport on Tuesday. We haven't seen them since early summer so we're pretty pumped. We've got a great week planned with them and RJ's family, including A Christmas Carol in Lanesboro, baking, presents, a night in a hotel, and hopefully a Vikings game. Excellent! This really is, and already has been, my favorite Christmas season yet. Gonna turn on the lights, light some candles, play some music and get painting.

Happy Saturday, everyone.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I got these a-stinkin-dorable pjs the other day at Old Navy. I can't pass up cute pjs--especially when they're only $2.80! :) Once I got home I took them out of the package to imagine the cuteness of them on a little girl and all of a sudden it dawned on me that I want this in baby girl's nursery! This here will be the mural on my little girl's wall. I keep changing my mind with how things will look, but I'm ready to just decide and stick to it. And most importantly get it started! I want the walls white with lots of silver and glittery things and bits of fun color:

Here's my little workshop lately. Just a few more orders to go and I'm done! Wow, it's been so enjoyable painting this year without doing craft shows at the same time like last year. That was just too crazy. I may do it again someday, but so glad I'm not right now!
On my Christmas list....A friend told me this changed her life as far as the kind of activities they do as a family. Sounds good to me!

We had a really busy day today and one in store for tomorrow again with babysitting and painting a mural at a friend's house. Should be fun! Hopefully Henry cooperates well so I can get it done without him pulling at my leg. I'm starting to wonder if he's sensing the change that is coming and that's why he's been so clingy. Sometimes I think it's really sweet. Sometimes it makes me want to scream. Sometimes it hurts my belly. I'm also hoping I won't have to tell him to stop whining 125 times like I did today also. Oh well. He's asleep now and I'm having some nice alone time while RJ is working and then I suddenly forget how frazzled I get during the days because the house is so peaceful.
Oh, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was a great movie. Almost 3 hours, but really didn't notice it. Plus, Tuesday night if you bring your own bowl you get it filled with popcorn for $.50. Free movie passes. Cheap popcorn. Hot date. Good time.
Hope you all have a great Thursday!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Here's the beauty!
I think she looks like my brother. I can't wait to see Elizabeth and baby Charlton grow up together.
I just noticed that my baby countdown is under 100 days! It's suddenly seeming kind of close, and my belly is feeling it too. Oy. I don't remember these pains until I was about 9 months pregnant with Henry. Maybe it has to do with carrying around a 2 year old on my hip? He's in a phase of wanting to be held a lot. He says "hold you" all day. How can you turn that down? He's also afraid to walk on the snow so it's a must to hold him outdoors. This little boy is a puzzle. He can be so outgoing and wild and not afraid of strangers and then be afraid to walk on snow, but I love that mix.

Elizabeth Angell

I was completely wrong....my brother and his wife welcomed into the world a baby GIRL! Praise the Lord that she's a healthy little thing and everyone is doing well. I think we were all a bit surprised because for some reason we were certain it was going to be a boy, but of course I'm so excited! So now my parents are equal with 4 grandsons and 4 granddaughters. Sounds pretty perfect to me. :) Elizabeth Angell joins Jack and Maggie. Excellent.

We got a special treat of a snow day. RJ didn't have to start work until 9:30. It was so nice to actually be able to eat breakfast as a family. I absolutely love that RJ gets his Friday afternoons off, but this means he leaves every morning at 7 so he can work longer days. It's amazing how much nicer my day feels when I have him around to start things off with.

It's not even 9 and Henry is already taking a nap. This could be a good or bad thing. We'll have to see how things unfold.....

So I didn't buy an advent book, but RJ found a blog with some great devotionals and and a song to sing, or another activity. I really enjoy it, but Henry not so much. Probably one of those things that will just get better with time.

Hope you all have a great Tuesday!

Monday, December 8, 2008


We had a great weekend! MOPS was so fun on Friday and we made a couple of super cute crafts that are sure to become a regular in my household. That night, we brought Henry to a friend's house and we headed to his work party downtown. We had huge visions of winning one of the stellar prizes, but came home empty handed. It was still fun, though. Saturday was a completely lazy day and yesterday was lovely too. Last night after church we watched the movie, Once. It was so great. Very simple story line, lots of great music (it's a musical, in a non-typical musical way), and great accents. I added the song that won the Oscar a few years ago for, Falling Slowly. Love it.
Tomorrow night we get another date and are going to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. We got free passes to see an early screening. Can't wait!

I'm off to finish up some painting orders and take a quick snooze before Henry gets up. I'm exhausted today. I made a cheesecake last night but didn't start until 8:30. Dumb idea. Do you know how long it takes for those things to cool down?!? But I'm so excited to try it!

Here comes the snow!

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Hello all.

This year I'm interested in learning more about observing the Advent season. I'm going to try and get to a bookstore and get a book about it with devotions and such even though I'm a few days late. Do any of you and your familys have some good ideas to pass along?

Today is December 4th. In exactly one month, my little baby is turning 2. Oh, where did the time go? This was our Christmas picture we took about exactly 1 year ago. Henry was crying and crying and found out the next day that he had a bit of an ear infection. I still kind of feel bad for taking him out in the cold like that. What torture! I'm planning this year's picture for Friday afternoon. Can't wait......

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I can't believe I went out this morning, but I just had to. Wednesdays are my one main day where I can do whatever I want so I have an inability to stay home! I did get a great deal at Baby Gap on this:
Isn't that just pure cuteness? My brother's wife is having a baby any day so I could not resist it. They don't know if it's a boy or a girl.....my guess right here and now is that it's a boy.....??

Christmas 101.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper
2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial. I love real ones, but we got a nice artificial one a few years ago when we lived in an apt so I want to get some good use out of it. I'd love to take the kids to get a real one when they're older.
3. When do you put up the tree? Usually after Thanksgiving, but this year a few days before.
4.When do you take the tree down? After New Year's
5. Do you like eggnog? Never tried it. RJ loves it. Probably gone through a couple of gallons already. Gross.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? Barbie Hot Dog Stand
7. Hardest person to buy for? Parents
8. Easiest person to buy for? Girls
9. Do you have a nativity scene? A snow globe one and a little kid one.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Don't remember...
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Home Alone
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Whenever I see a good sale!
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? yes....
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Sweets
16. Lights on the tree? Lots of white ones, though I am starting to like colors again.
17. Favorite Christmas song? O Holy Night
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Little bit of both.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Yes
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? We don't have a strong tradition for that yet. Growing up we could talk my mom into opening them up any time. She always got too excited!
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? The stores on the weekends.
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? Anything glittery or sparkly.
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Meat and potatoes.
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? I don't have a list so anything will be fun!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bowl Full of Jelly

Of course a baby girl is way sweeter than jelly, but it does feel appropriate (and justified) to have a large belly this time of year. I love being pregnant over the holidays! I'm 25 weeks, which doesn't sound very far along, but when I say I only have 15 weeks left it sounds much closer. Yipppee!

We had a fantastic Thanksgiving and no pictures to prove it. We saw both of RJ's extended family on Thursday and Henry survived his first day ever with no nap with flying colors. Then his parent's came back to our house and stayed until Saturday. We watched some Christmas movies, went on a walk, did some shopping and ate some great food. Friday night, the grandparent's took the kids and RJ and I went out with his brother and wife and had a blast. It had been years since we had gone out with them with no kids! We ate at Django and it's now officially my favorite restaurant. We had been there before but it was just for dessert. If you need a place to go on a fancier type of date, I'd highly recommend it!
We had a nice Saturday evening and Sunday as a family and ended the weekend with fish chowder and America's Funniest Home Videos with RJ's bro and fam. Can't get any better than that.
I should not be blogging right now, so I must end. I just made a list of all the painting orders I have to get done and it's up to 10 and I'm excited to get them started. I'm going to try and get them done by next weekend so I can actually paint some things to give as gifts myself.

RJ, all I want for Christmas, is you. Sing it, Mariah!


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