Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Date Night 5: Scrabble and Elf

Tonight Luke and I had another date night. It was my turn to pick! I decided I wanted to have a Christmas date night.

Tonight Luke and I were actually supposed to go to Connect Group. But after this weekend we were still so exhausted, and I ended up falling asleep. Luke decided not to wake me up, and texted our group leader, letting him know we wouldn't be there. I was exhausted, and we still had to go grocery shopping, so Luke knew we probably wouldn't have time to do it all anyway. I appreciated the fact that he just let me sleep, even though I missed going to group! But since we missed it anyway, we decided to do our date night tonight.

Anyway, once I finally woke up at around 6:45, the evening started with us going grocery shopping. Since we were in town anyway, we decided to eat dinner at Hot Dog Shoppe. Yum!

Once we got home, I made some hot cocoa,

Lit a festive candle (balsam and cedarwood)
And we settled in for a cozy date night.

I decided that I wanted to spend our date night chilling at home, watching a Christmas movie with the lights of the tree twinkling in the background. So we popped Elf in the blu-ray player.

While we watched, we played a game of Scrabble.

Luke won...by about 30 points! He is much better than me at Scrabble, obviously...but I kept up with him, and was even beating him most of the game, until he got one word worth about 45 points, and that killed me. Oh well, there's always next time!
The most fun part of the evening was probably enjoying Ellie and Gabby.

Gabby was OBSESSED with the Scrabble tiles! She kept trying to steal them and run off with them in her mouth.

But luckily she was just too lazy to keep it up for long. We got so many comments at the Ohio State party this weekend about how fat she is getting. Ha! What can I say...she's a healthy cat!

Overall, it was a fun, Christmasy date night at home! I say it every week, but I am really loving this date night idea! Even if you can only do it once a month or so, I think it's a great idea! I can't wait to find out what Luke will pick for his date night next week, and I've already got some ideas in mind for when it's my turn the week after that.

I've been having a hard time lately being content with my life, honestly, but it's nights like these that I feel very content and thankful for my freedom. And by that I mean, these date nights wouldn't be happening if we had a baby. There are a thousand reasons I wish I had a baby, but that's at least one reason why I'm happy I don't right now.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Weekend Snippets

Today I thought I'd share some random snippets from the weekend

1. Recipes. I mentioned these briefly in my week in review post. I made an appetizer and a dessert for our Ohio State/Michigan game party on Saturday. First of all, I made pepperoni rolls.
These are so easy to make, and sooo good! I just bought two refrigerated pizza crusts, and piled on the ingredients like I was making a regular pizza. I used lots of cheese and pepperoni, and also sprinkled on some Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Then instead of throwing it in the oven like that, I rolled it, starting in the corner and rolling diagonally. I folded in the ends, and put on a coat of EVOO. Then I put it in the oven (preheated to 400 degrees F) for about 15-20 minutes. I then took it out, and cut it in slices. I left the slices in the middle on the baking sheet, and put the rest on a plate. Then I put the middle pieces back in the oven for about 1o more minutes to make sure the dough was fully cooked.

Anyway, they were pretty good, and I can't believe I've never made them before! It was a great, easy little appetizer.

I also make this chocolate chip cheese ball, which I mentioned before.
I served it with chocolate Teddy Grahams, graham crackers, and Pepperidge Farm Pirouette cookies. It was very good, but not very good for you. haha! Click here for the recipe (From Kelly's Korner).

2. Trans Siberian Orchestra Concert. The annual concert was last night! It was such a great night, but way, way, way too late for a school night! Haha...I was absolutely dragging all day today. But last night was fun! We all went out to dinner on the way, and that was nice. Then we headed to Cleveland. We had to walk through Tower City to get to Quicken Loans Arena, and it was so pretty and festive for Christmas!
Anyway, once at the concert, we took our seats which were right on the floor...they were great! This year our group consisted of:

Me and Luke, Obviously
{Luke is doing No-shave November... hence the full beard. He actually isn't going to shave until January, because the band is all growing their beards for their trip to Colorado...let's just say I'm still getting used to it :-P}

My parents, who went for the first time this year!

And our friends from church, Laura and Stan. It was Stan's first year too.

I didn't take any pictures during the concert, because I wanted to be totally focused on it. Luckily, Luke took a bunch with his iPhone, so here is a preview:
The concert did not disappoint. I feel like I'm really ready for the Christmas season now!

3. Christmas. This weekend we basically began the Christmas season at our house. We put up our trees, watched Christmas movies, and I almost finished my Christmas cards. My goal is to send them all out this weekend. I really want to make this Christmas a special one, and I feel like we've gotten a really good start on things! My next step is to finish my Christmas shopping and wrap all the presents. And in a few weeks it will be time to start doing my Christmas baking. I love to bake Christmas cookies and hand them out to family and friends. And it's always nice to have some on hand when people come to visit.

Luke and I skipped date night last week with all the Thanksgiving festivities, but it is my turn to pick, and I think we're going to have a Christmas date night here at home this week. I want to make homemade hot cocoa, light some pine-scented candles, and turn off all the lights except the Christmas tree, and then watch Elf! I don't think I've watched Elf in a few years, and I am way overdue for a viewing!

P.S. I hope you have been enjoying my Christmas music player!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Week in Review: Thanksgiving Edition

Sunday 11/21 - Other than church, Luke and I didn't go anywhere on Sunday. I spent the day cleaning the house, getting ready for Christmas decorations.

Monday 11/22 - Honestly...I don't really remember what I did on Monday! Haha...usually I write my "Week in Review" post a little bit each day. But this week has been so crazy that I wasn't able to do that. I must not have done anything too significant if I can't remember it!

Tuesday 11/23 - This day was my last day of work before Thanksgiving Break. After an easy day of work, I came home, made dinner, and then went to connect group with Luke.

Wednesday 11/24 - The first day of break. I woke up early and headed to town to try to pick up all the last minute things I'd need for the long weekend, and to buy some Christmas decorations! I spent the day cleaning, crafting, and putting up our tree in the dining room. I made homemade mac & cheese for dinner while I waited for Luke to return home with our brand new couch! When he got there, a bunch of people came to help him bring the couch up. We set it up, ate dinner, and then had a bunch of other visitors who wanted to see the new couch. After that, Luke fell asleep on the couch while I stayed up until 2 working on Christmas cards. It was a very productive day!

Thursday 11/25 - Thanksgiving! I woke up and made a dessert to take to my grandparents' house. Then we headed out for the day, which was spent with family, traveling to 3 different destinations. We were gone from about 1 until 7 or 8, so it was a long day. But full of blessings! Later in the evening, I went to see a late 3D showing of Tangled with my mom and sister. It was an excellent movie! While I was there, Luke went to Walmart at midnight for some cheap blu-rays. When Luke got home, it was about 12:45 AM, and we both laid on the couch and watched Home Alone 2. We ended up going to bed at about 3:00 AM, and it was fun to stay up so late since we NEVER do that anymore. What a great Thanksgiving we had this year!

Friday 11/26 - First thing in the morning, we went out and bought our Christmas tree. We came home and set it up while we watched Christmas Vacation. Sarah came over to visit sometime in there, too! We finished watching the movie, ate some cake, and just caught up, because it had been forever since I had seen her! When it was time for Sarah to leave, I finished decorating our downstairs tree, and the rest of the house. Later, Luke and I went down to my grandma's apartment where my parents, aunt and sister were visiting. We ordered pizza, watched Pawn Stars, and talked. And that was our casual Thanksgiving get-together with that side of the family :-) It was nice. Luke and I then had some time to just relax at home later in the evening.

Saturday 11/27 - This was the day of the big Ohio State/Michigan game, and we were having a little get-together at our house for it. So early in the morning, I made a trip to the grocery store to get some food. I made pepperoni rolls and a chocolate chip cheese ball (recipe found at Kelly's Korner recipe blog). And a bunch of our friends came over to enjoy the game on our new couch! Ohio State won, of course ;-) It was a fun day! Later that evening, I went out with Luke's mom to see his cousin Leah in a show at her high school (the show was The Marvelous Wonderettes). She did AMAZING!! It was fun to see her up on stage :-)

Milestones this week: celebrated Thanksgiving, and put our trees up.

Movies I watched this week: A Muppet Christmas Carol (A), Tangled (A+), Home Alone 2 (A), Christmas Vacation (A)

Books I'm reading this week
: The Bible (Finished I Samuel, started II Samuel), and
The Lost World by Michael Crichton

Songs I'm loving this week
: Any and all Christmas music, especially TSO

Things I'm looking forward to next week
: The TSO concert on Sunday!! Enjoying the beginning of the Christmas season.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christmas Trees!

I decided to do two Christmas trees this year. This is the first year our attic has been our living room, so our real tree went up there this year. But I wanted to put a tree downstairs too. Mostly because I spend a lot of time downstairs, and also, sometimes when people come over, they don't go all the way upstairs. So I guess I wanted it to feel Christmasy downstairs too. I don't know why I'm spending so much time justifying this...I just love Christmas, and two trees is what I wanted this year! ;-)

The downstairs tree in the dining room is the formal tree. I decided to do red and gold with white lights. Yesterday I finally finished decorating it, and I love it!! The whole room glows now.

I love all the glittery ornaments...

...but I'm not loving that my entire dining room floor is covered with glitter!

For our second tree, we bought a real one. It is becoming tradition for us to buy our tree right after Thanksgiving, and we always buy it from the same tree farm. It was a beautiful day to pick one out!

This year we had to get a small tree, because our living room ceilings are low, and sloping in the spot where we put the tree. But I still think it's cute ;-)
The living room tree is the "fun" tree. We decorated it yesterday afternoon. Sarah came over and helped us, too! We watched Christmas Vacation while we decorated, and it was fun!

Here is the finished product...it was hard to get a good picture with the crazy bright lights

On this tree, we put all of our:

Special ornaments:

Old [and also special] ornaments:
This one's Luke's and it's from the year we were both born.

And funny ornaments:

Now all the work is done, and I'm ready to enjoy this Christmas season! I love putting our tree up as soon as Thanksgiving is over, because I like to enjoy it for as long as possible.

In addition to decorating our trees yesterday, I did a lot of other fun things! Including hang out with Sarah for most of the afternoon, and then spend the evening with my dad's side of the family. We all visited my grandma and ordered a pizza while we watched Pawn Stars. It was a very laid back evening, but I enjoyed it!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving '10...A Lovely Day!

I guess my Thanksgiving started super late on Wednesday night. Luke had fallen asleep on our beautiful, new couch, but I still had energy coursing through my veins. (SO unlike me!!) So I stayed up until about 2:00 AM addressing Christmas cards and writing a little note on each one. I'm probably more than halfway done now!! And it was fun to stay up until the middle of the night like I used to.

Thursday morning began when I woke up at 10:00!! That's about 2 hours later than my normal sleep-in time these days, and it was really nice! When I got up, I had to make a dessert for my Grandparents' house. I was told to make a dessert, but not a pie. I decided to peruse The Pioneer Woman's dessert archives, and I found the perfect little treat: French Breakfast Puffs. You can find the recipe here.

Although they are "breakfast puffs," they're really more like doughnuts. Delicious, cinnamon, nutmeg doughnuts. They were so easy to make, and they made my entire house smell like nutmeg. I made 12 large ones for my grandma's house, but had tons of batter left over, so I also made some tiny ones for fun, and for taste-testing ;-) Aren't the tiny ones so cute? They look like doughnut holes.

These were a hit, and I will definitely make them again!

We did find that we liked the little ones better than the big ones, because the big ones are sooo filling, and because you obviously get more cinnamon sugar in each bite and less cakey stuff with the little ones. They are also even more delicious when they are still warm. And I have to say, I think they kind of taste like these cinnamon doughnuts straight form White House! P-Dub sure knows what she's doing when it comes to good food ;-)

Anyway, our first stop of the day was my Grandparents' house. The whole day reminded me of that episode of Gilmore Girls where Rory and Lorelei have 4 Thanksgiving dinners to make it to. But instead of 4, we just had 3. And we did not eat at each place. Honest! :-)

At my grandparents', we ate a delicious, traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Grandma always does everything up very fancily. I did not take any pictures, because I made a conscious effort to leave my camera in my purse. Sometimes when I'm busy taking pictures, I don't get to fully enjoy everything. Know what I mean?

Anyway. As we ate, all the cousins and our husbands/fiances sat at a separate table. We laughed that even in our mid-twenties, we are somehow still at the "kid's table."

After dinner, all the ladies sat around the big table while the men watched football. And then all too soon it was time to head to our next destination: Luke's Grandma and Grandpa W's house.

There we honestly did not eat anything, if you can believe that! I don't think we could have if we had wanted to. At this spot, we watched football and chatted with family, and again, it was a very nice time!

After a few hours, it was time to move on again, to Luke's Grandma and Grandpa H's house. This was a fun place to end the day! We somehow ate a little more here, because Luke's Grandma always makes delicious risotto for Thanksgiving. It is Luke's absolute favorite thing to eat in the world.

After dinner, a bunch of us played a really fun game called Wits and Wagers. We played for a looong time, because it was addicting! Luke laughed at those of us who were playing the game, because he was laying in a big armchair in the living room, watching football and trying to take a little nap, and every few minutes we would all yell or start laughing, and he just could not fall asleep! Haha...I love being blessed to be a part of this family...they are so much fun!

After the game, Luke and I talked with his grandparents and looked up flights for when we visit them in AZ this winter!! I am so excited!

After awhile, it was time to head out and we left with enough leftovers to feed an army!! And I'm only slightly exaggerating.

When I got home, I relaxed and watched the first part of Home Alone 2 before it was time to go out AGAIN! Mom, Julie and I decided to see a late showing of Tangled because we all thought it looked so cute!

We were not disappointed! It reminded me of the old Disney princess movies, like Beauty and the Best or Aladdin. We got to see it in 3D, and the visuals were stunning. I LOVED it, and will definitely be adding it to my Disney blu-ray collection :-)

After the movie I came home to an empty house...Luke had gone with his sisters to Walmart at midnight to get some cheap blu-rays. So I laid on our couch and turned on Home Alone 2 again. Luke got home, and we were laying head to head since our couch is L-shaped, and Gabby was laying on my lap and Ellie was laying on my stomach. It was so cozy, and a wonderful way to end the day! We ended up staying up until 3:00 AM! When I was in college, I would often stay up that late on the weekends, and it felt so nice to be able to do that again with no real commitments the next morning to worry about!

I hope everyone else had a blessed Thanksgiving, too! Tomorrow I will be revealing our Christmas trees, so come back! :-)

Thursday, November 25, 2010


On this Thanksgiving, I feel extremely thankful for so many things. Here are just a few:
  • A God who loves me unconditionally, leads me, comforts me, and forgives me.
  • A husband whom I love more and more every single day, and have spent more than 6 wonderful years with.
  • A family who loves me and supports me no matter what.
  • True friends who love me despite my crazy quirks.
  • A house that is also a home.
  • Two little fur-babies who are often my joy and entertainment.
  • A full refrigerator, all the time.
  • A job that helps to pay the bills.
  • A church where I can serve, worship, learn and grow.
  • A car that runs! After last year, I will never take this one for-granted again.
  • Joy in my heart.
And now for some less serious, random things:
  • Books
  • Music
  • Disney Movies
  • The color pink
  • Dark chocolate hot cocoa
  • Blogging
  • Date nights
  • The Office
  • Puppies
  • Baking
  • Hot Dog Shoppe
  • Roller Coasters
And so many more. In all seriousness, I am truly blessed. God has given me so much more than I could ever ask for. This Thanksgiving I'm realizing that God has blessed me with so much, and I need to learn to pass on the blessings instead of just dwelling on myself!

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Crafting, Cooking, Christmas Decorating, and a Couch!

This blog post brought to you by the letter C.

Today was packed full of so many fun and productive things!

I woke up at 7 (!!!) on my first day off for some reason. I laid in bed for an entire hour, trying to make myself fall back to sleep. But it just wasn't happening, so I got up and ready for the day.

I went to get some groceries, and then spent way too much money on Christmas decorations! But I'm sure it will be worth it once I get them all up.

When I got home, I started my first project of the day: a coffee filter Christmas tree! I wanted to make a wreath instead, but I couldn't find any Styrofoam wreaths when I was in town. Anyway. You might have seen this craft at The Nesting Place.

I used small coffee filters, because I made a small tree. I had a 200 pack, and that was plenty for this project.
This is a very simple craft. You just fold the coffee filters in fourths:

And glue them to your form.

It is kind of a fat, round tree, but I lost patience when I was trying to trim it up. So I decided to just leave it like that...I think it's cute. I have TONS of coffee filters left (I actually bought 4 packs of 200, not knowing how many it would take for the tree. I guess I over-estimated!), so I may try to make a wreath too if I find time one of these days.

The next project on my list was to set up our Christmas tree. Luke and I buy a real tree every year for our living room, but I decided this year I wanted to set up a tree in the dining room too. The one in the dining room will be the traditional, formal tree, and the real tree in the living room upstairs will be the "fun" tree.

We had an old, artificial tree in our attic for some reason, so I had to get that and bring it downstairs. That was quite an ordeal, because the box completely fell apart in the process. And when it broke, I was surprised to find that each individual branch was detached from the tree. So when I finally carried them all downstairs, I started sticking the limbs right on the tree, not paying much attention to what I was doing. When I had about two rows done, I realized that...duh! All the branches were different sizes, and were color-coded based on which row they were supposed to go on. So I disassembled the first two rows, sorted all the branches, attached them to the correct row, and then fluffed the whole thing up. It took FOREVER.

Anyway, that tree is going to be red and gold with white lights. I have the lights and ribbon on right now, but I forgot to buy hooks for the ornaments, so I will have to finish that part later. This post is evidence of how extremely absent-minded I can be! Anyway, I will share pictures later when it's completely decorated.

The next project of the day was to clean the house, and then make dinner for Luke. He was coming home with our NEW COUCH! So I wanted to make some good food for him :-) I decided on homemade macaroni and cheese....YUM.
I used this recipe from The Pioneer Woman. The recipe called for dried mustard, which gave it a really interesting sort of bite to it. It was very good, and different! I would make it again. But I probably won't have to for awhile, because it made enough to feed a small army. Ha! I didn't get a picture of the finished product because there was a lot of commotion going on with the couch being brought in and everything. But you know what mac & cheese looks like anyway ;-)

The last task of the day was to get the new couch into the living room! Unlike last time, it fit, and was not harmed at all in the process! Luke, his dad, uncle, and cousin all helped bring it in. Because of the crazy circumstances (i.e. the first couch we bought not fitting through the door, and being ripped) Luke had to pick out the couch by himself because I was at work when he took care of everything. Anyway, I had only seen the couch in a picture sent from Luke's phone, so I was a little nervous. But I really like it!

What do you think? My favorite part is that Ellie wanted to model for you all ;-)
(P.S. We plan to get a new, square coffee table or ottoman in the future)

Well it has been a jam-packed day, but I am just chomping at the bit to get started on my Christmas cards, so I might work on those for a few moments before I completely crash. I feel like it's been such a productive day! I think the school should give us 5-day weekends more often ;-)

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone! I am thankful for all of you!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It's Here!

My 5-day weekend is here!! I'm so excited! This is the longest break I've had since August, and I need it!

This weekend will include so many fun things!:
  • Putting out Christmas decorations
  • Getting our new couch
  • Watching an insane amount of Christmas movies
  • Thanksgiving celebrations with families
  • Watching the Macy's Day Parade
  • Eating way too much delicious food
  • Listening to Christmas music every hour of the day
  • Going out to dinner with my dad's side of the family
  • Buying, putting up, and decorating our Christmas tree!!!
  • Hanging out with Sarah, whom I have not seen in FOREVER!
  • A fun show at my old high school
  • And the grand finale of the weekend: The TSO concert!! It will be the perfect thing to really ring in the Christmas season. My parents are coming for the first time, and I'm excited for them to see it!
This long, holiday weekend is going to be so much fun, all the craziness I've endure in the past 3 months of working full-time will seem worth it, I think.

What are your fun plans this Thanksgiving??

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Week in Review

Sunday 11/14 - After church, Luke watched the Browns while I read all day. I finished Jurassic Park! What a great book! Later, we went shopping and bought our new couch, which is our Christmas present to each other. Following that, we met Luke's mom and family at Olive Garden, to celebrate her birthday! It was a good time, and we all got a free desserts due to a mess-up of a few people's entrees! Score! Anyway, it was a great night!

Monday 11/15 - I stayed home all evening, catching up on things and also relaxing after a long day at work.

Tuesday 11/16 - After work, I headed to the church to work on the next newsletter. Then Luke and I decided to skip Connect Group later, because he is really sick. I gave him my never-ending cough. Oops!

Wednesday 11/17 - I went to the church after work again to finish the newsletter. I got most of it completed, then went grocery shopping and spent the rest of the evening at home, once again. Okay, so this week wasn't the most exciting one ever.

Thursday 11/18 - Again, after work I went to the church, this time for a meeting about the new system we will be using in the new library. After that, Luke and I went out to pick up our couch, and eat some dinner. We were so excited!...until we got home, and Luke and his dad tried to bring the couch in, and realized that it was physically impossible because of the layout of our entrance, and the length of the couch. And they ripped the couch in the process. Our fun, exciting night quickly turned into one of the most frustrating nights we've had since being married!

Friday 11/19 - Luke was able to take off work to fix the couch situation. He was able to return the couch, and only had to pay a fee for damages. He then picked out a different couch all on his own! (Well, except for the input I was texting him based on the pictures he was sending me from his phone). It is supposed to arrive next Wednesday, and hopefully I love it! Anyway, when I got home, I pretty much took it easy for the rest of the evening. I was so burned out and stressed out from the week, and STILL having coughing fits (it's been 5 weeks and they're still not completely gone. I feel so bad that Luke got it too!) So I watched some of the Disney Movies Luke had ordered, which arrived earlier in the week. A relaxing night was just what I needed!

Saturday 11/20 - I decided to have a pre-holiday cleaning day! It was fun! I burned some holiday candles and listened to Christmas music all day while I cleaned. Later in the afternoon though, Mom picked me up and we headed to a craft show right down the street. All the Christmas stuff really got me in the mood for the season! Once I got home I continued to clean until I had another meeting at the church for the campaign committee. It ended up being a great meeting, and really inspiring, too! After the meeting, Luke and I had our date night in, which consisted of us sitting in the beanbag chair since we are couch-less, and watching a movie. We felt like college students. Anyway, I DID end up falling asleep through most of the movie. Ugh, I hate it when that happens! And it always happens! Oh well, maybe next time I'll be able to stay awake!

Milestones this week: I finished my third campaign newsletter, and Luke and I survived a particularly stressful situation with the couch. God definitely saw us through that one!

Movies I watched this week: I didn't watch any the whole way through because of my fatigue this week, but I watched most of Enchanted, and I give it an A+ ;-) It is too funny and cute, and I love the music! I can't wait for the sequel to come out!

Books I'm reading this week: The Bible (Almost done with I Samuel), Finished Jurassic Park byMichael Crichton, and now I'm reading The Lost World, also by Michael Crichton.

Songs I'm loving this week: Hallelujah (Light Has Come) - Barlowgirl, also loving Barlowgirl's version of O Holy Night. It's a Barlowgirl week! :-)

Things I'm looking forward to next week: So many things - THANKSGIVING!! Having a 5-day weekend, spending time with family, decorating for Christmas, Christmas movies starting on ABC Family, picking up our second new couch ;-), GETTING AND DECORATING OUR TREE!! And possibly going to see HP 7 Part 1!! Wow, it is going to be a great week!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pre-Holiday Cleaning Day, A Praise, and Date Night 4

It hit me this morning that this is the last weekend we'll have before Thanksgiving, and then the Christmas season. I decided I needed to clean my house. And I mean REALLY clean it. That way, next weekend when we start decorating for Christmas, everything will be spic and span and organized.

We had a cleaning/house re-organizing and rearranging day last year on the weekend before Thanksgiving. It was great, because I got everything done during the weekend, so I could spend my first day of Thanksgiving break relaxing and pulling out Christmas decorations! I thought it would be a good thing to do again this year.

Right now I'm taking a break from cleaning (already. Ha!). I find when I have long marathon cleaning sprees, I need to take short breaks every few hours or so, or else I'll burn out quickly. Maybe I have Adult ADD, who knows? Haha...anyway, so far I'm having a great time cleaning my house!

I started my morning with a very sugary breakfast...cinnamon toast! My favorite! And I wanted to drink something warm because our house is sort of freezing...I thought about drinking some of the new holiday tea I bought the other night...I love Celestial Seasonings! They have the most fun flavors!
But of course I picked something a little more chocolatey instead!
The BEST hot chocolate flavor EVER.

I burned my two new holiday candles, pomegranate & cranberries, and fresh pine & cedar. It smells like Christmas in here already!

And my Pandora Station is set to Christian Christmas music. Loving. It.

I have to keep it fun around here to keep my momentum going! Anyway, I'm all ready for a day of pre-holiday cleaning and organizing.


I thought I'd include a big PRAISE in my post this morning as well. Luke fixed the couch situation yesterday! Well, he basically fixed it. We are going to end up paying a lot more than we had originally planned to, but they DID let us returned the ripped couch! And only made us pay a small(ish) fee for damages. And Luke picked out another one and bought it that same day. WITHOUT me there. I just put my two cents in based on the pictures he was texting me from his phone. Anyway, I don't like the new couch as much as the one we had originally picked out, but it is in 3 pieces, so is guaranteed to fit through our door. And Luke said if I really don't like it, we'll just return it and find another one. We are set to pick it up on Wednesday! Which means that it will be here before next weekend! Which means we can still get our Christmas tree and put it up on Saturday! Haha, I was very stressed out about that.


And one more thing. Tonight is another date night for Luke and I! Luke picked the date this week, and he originally had planned to have a movie night here so we could enjoy our new couch! Haha...so instead we are having a movie night here and enjoying the over-sized bean bag chair on the floor since we are couch-less. It should be a fun, relaxing night anyway, after all this cleaning! We are watching a funny movie that Luke picked out, and I hope I can stay awake the whole time! I should be able to, considering that I fell asleep around 9:30 last night watching Enchanted while Luke was at basketball. And didn't wake up until 8:00 this morning! So yes, after that almost 11 hours of sleep, I should be able to stay awake for a movie tonight. Ha! I swear I have Narcolepsy, you guys! (Just Kidding)

Happy Saturday!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Night.

Today was the day.

We were supposed to pick up our brand new sectional sofa. The one that we purchased on Sunday during the Veterans Day sale, and the one that was supposed to be our Christmas gift to one another.

Well, we picked it up all right.

We even got it all the way home in Luke's dad's truck without any problems.

But when it came time for Luke and his dad to carry it into our house, that's when things started to fall apart.

You see, we live in the top floor of an old house, and things are laid out very strangely up here. And the fact of the matter is, that couch was just too long to make it up the steps, through the doorway, around the sharp curve, and up more steps into our house.

Luke and his dad tried for almost an hour while I sat in the dining room, cringing as I heard them trying to move it in.

And then the worst thing happened: the brand new, beautiful couch got stuck on a nail and ripped.

Now here I sit: couch-less (we already gave our old one to a friend) and with a livid husband. And to be completely honest, I'm a little bit livid myself.

So yes. Tonight was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad evening.

Luke is going to try to return the couch tomorrow (I'm now very thankful that we sprung and paid the extra $119 for the teflon coating, since it is supposed to ensure that we are covered for any rips, tears, holes, or stains for the next 8 years). I'm hoping we can purchase another, slightly shorter couch before the end of next week. Because we are supposed to buy our Christmas tree next Saturday, and because of the weird layout of our living room, there's only one spot for the Christmas tree. And the tree would be right in the way of bringing another gigantic couch into that room. So yes, I'm afraid the Christmas tree will not be purchased until a new couch is.

Our house is now freezing since the door was opened for an hour. So I'm using this as an excuse to shirk the rest of my responsibilities this evening. Instead I will be taking a hot bubble bath, indulging in some hot cocoa, then wearing my warmest, softest pajamas, and reading in bed until I'm so exhausted I can no longer keep my eyes opened. This ordeal has caused my stress level to raise through the roof, and I need to fix that.

Thank the Lord the weekend starts tomorrow. This week is absolutely kicking my butt!

Now a moment of silence for the couch that was supposed to be ours:

Sigh....tomorrow will be better.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Preparing for Christmas!

I've heard from more and more people lately that they have their Christmas shopping finished already! What?? Apparently, I am extremely behind, because I have not started yet. I have not bought for a SINGLE person. Well, unless you count the huge gift that Luke and I bought for ourselves yesterday (more to come on that on Thursday when it arrives! I'm SOO excited!) Anyway, I don't think that counts.

So yes, I am already feeling behind, and it's not even Thanksgiving yet! I think I need to chill! But in order to calm myself down and prevent myself from feeling stressed, I did cross my first item off of my Christmas to-do list today: order Christmas cards.

I am so excited, because I got 5o of them for FREE this year. They should arrive sometime before Thanksgiving, and I am looking forward to stamping and addressing them while sipping hot cocoa and watching Christmas movies sometime during my 5-day Thanksgiving break. My goal is to have them all sent out the first week of December.

Last year I think I sent my Christmas cards out about a week before Christmas. It was definitely pushing it, and seriously stressed me out!

Anyway, having this first task completed motivates me so much! I now plan to spend the evening making a list of people I need to buy for, and what I plan to buy for each person. And this weekend I want to do a deep-cleaning of the whole house so that it's completely ready for Christmas decorations! Luke and I plan on putting our tree up and decorating the house the weekend after Thanksgiving. It will be nice to have some of this boring stuff out of the way so I can really enjoy the Christmas season and focus on what it is really about.

So tell me: do you have your Christmas shopping finished?? Please tell me I'm not the only one who hasn't started yet!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Week in Review

Sunday 11/7 - After church, for the third week in a row, Luke and I went out to eat lunch at Jalisco's with some friends. After that, we basically had a lazy day, napping and watching football. Later in the evening I went downstairs to visit my grandma, and my dad was there too. I came home and fell asleep early, since after the time change, my body thought it was an hour later than it actually was!
Monday 11/8 - After work I went grocery shopping, made dinner, and cleaned the house. Then finally at 11:00 it was time for Conan on TBS! Luke and I are big Conan fans, and our friend Michael came over to watch it with us too. I made buffalo chicken dip and we enjoyed that while we watched, staying up way too late for a week night!

Tuesday 11/9 - This was an extremely uneventful day. The only thing we did was Connect Group. And I think I fell asleep super early again. Surprise, surprise.

Wednesday 11/10 - After dinner, I spent the entire evening at my parents' house, working on the next campaign newsletter. While there, my mom gave me a late birthday present: a new memory card for my camera! I've needed one for a few weeks now, so I'm very excited! And guess what....it holds 11,000 photos! That's right, even I will have a hard time filling that up. Ha! I love it! Being able to use my camera again inspires me to take more pictures!

Thursday 11/11 - Luke and I had another date night this night. We went out to see Due Date. It was a funny movie, but a little too disgusting for my taste. After that, we went to Applebees for appetizers. It was a nice evening spent together :-)

Friday 11/12 - I spent the evening chilling out at home while Luke was at basketball. I settled in to read, but ended up falling asleep about 3 pages in. At around 9:30 or 10. I'm pathetic.

Saturday 11/13 - I organized and cleaned my house all morning, and it felt wonderful. In the afternoon, I went to the church to take more construction pictures of the new building addition, and help my mom hang signs for the walk-through tours that will be beginning tomorrow evening for congregation members. After that, I went to mom and dad's house to complete a project I will be writing about sometime next week! And when I was done with that, I went to visit my grandma again where my dad, aunt, and cousin were also visiting. I spent the evening in with Luke, watching football and reading.

Milestones this week: Completed a do-it-yourself project for my kitchen with my mom! It was my first experience using spray paint, and I love how it turned out!

Movies I watches this week: Due Date (C)

Books I'm reading this week: The Bible (I Samuel), Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton (almost finished!)

Songs I'm loving this week: Strong enough - Stacie Orrico. Oldie but a goody, and it just really spoke to me this week.

Things I'm looking forward to next week: Celebrating my mother-in-law's birthday, and preparing for Thanksgiving! Oh, and also buying the Christmas present that Luke and I are buying together for one another...I'm sooo excited about it!!! Pictures to come as soon as it arrives ;-)