Monthly Archives: December 2011

We Resolve…Newlywed Style

As we’re laying in bed the other night, Hubs asks me, “So, what are your New Year’s resolutions?”

I don’t usually make resolutions because I don’t like to set myself up for failure and sometimes I think that resolutions are only made to be broken. Plus, when I want to make a change in my life, I don’t like to wait until New Years.

However, after reading Ali’s resolutions from 2011 in my favorite running blog, I realized I didn’t have to make life-changing goals that are vague and basically obsolete…I can make a bucket list of sorts, for the year, of individual goals and specific, tangible things I want to do or see. Sure, I can also have some more vague ideas of things I know I struggle with and need to work on, but as a rule, this year, since I’m going to be publishing this list to the world, I’d like to make sure they are things that are easily measured and recorded as whether or not we’ve accomplished them.

Also, since it’s the first full year Hubs and I will be spending together, I thought we should make our resolutions together. We are a team, after all, and most of our resolutions will involve each other anyway, right?

Ok, so here goes, our Newlywed Resolutions 2012:

1. Take a weekly walk together. Every week. Hubs hates to go on walks, so this will be tougher for him than me.

Our first annual New Year's Eve walk...and our first weekly walk! (In December, and yes, we're not wearing coats. In fact, Hubs is wearing shorts!)

2. Vacuum more. This should be easier with my new Oreck!

3. Work on portion control at meals, even when eating out and dishing up bowls of ice cream…we both need to work on this, as we both love to eat and can get carried away easily.

Yes, I love fried eggplant, but no, Hubs and I shouldn't have eaten this whole plate by ourselves...

4. Buy a house. I realize this is a tough one, but it’s top on Hubs’ list. Wish us luck!

5. Write at least five things that are just for me. I can worry about what to use them for later, if anything.

6. Run more races. I’d love to do another half…maybe a full 26.2? I’m young now, and my knees and ankles and hips will only get worse, right? I only ran 1 or 2 in 2011, and they were fun, so I’m ready for more.

7. Finish reading 8 books that I ALREADY own and have squished into our bookshelf. I’m terrible about buying new books instead of reading ones I already own but haven’t read.

See? It's full.

8. Use more coupons and take advantage of price matching. I also need to do a better job of keeping track of how much we spend and save.

9. Find a church home where we really feel connected to. I miss the fellowship I’ve been so used to my whole life. We need to be surrounded by people encouraging us in our walk.

Going to Myrtle Beach to do beach ministry with these people was an awesome time. I miss this family!

10. Go on another road trip. There’s something so special about traveling with the one you love, and we love the sense of exploring that comes with driving around on our own. Our honeymoon was some of the most fun we’ve ever had and we’re committed to doing this together again as often as we can.

Honeymoon road trip stop #4: Chicago!

I obviously could think of MANY other goals we have, things like being committed to saving money and being good stewards of our marriage. We also need to do things like find doctors up here in the city and making appointments and going to check ups. But I thought ten was a nice round number to focus specifically on for this year. We’ll keep doing all the other things we are currently working on as well. I’d also love to add, “Get a Career Job.” But I don’t want to rush God’s timing on that one. I’ll keep looking, but I don’t know the plans he has for me. (Good thing he does. *Jeremiah 29:11*)

And as a side note, I’d like to say how thankful I am that Hubs often does the dishes and cleans the kitchen for me. I love to cook and don’t mind doing dishes, but sometimes I get overwhelmed by how fast it gets messy again and it’s a huge blessing when he helps with that. I hope he resolves to keep doing that. (Just kidding. (Sorta.)

 

Advertisements
Categories: Love Stuff | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Tree Tutorial…Stacked Version

Ok, so I know it’s past Christmas and you probably don’t want to make Christmas tree decorations anymore, but I said I’d post these, and I am going to, dangit! So, use these trees to decorate for January, or have a tree-themed party sometime in the next month as an excuse to make these cute trees, okay?

Aren't they cute?

Martha Stewart recommends doing it like this. But of course, I didn’t follow her directions exactly…

I started with old newspaper (and an old book, not a good one, I promise!) and cut out lots of different sizes of paper squares.

I used the edges from trimming the big pieces to make the smaller squares, I'm extra thrifty that way...

Now, Martha says to make the squares a half an inch smaller starting at 6 inches and going to 1 1/2 inches. I did this…sort of.

I thought that made the trees look a little bumpy and I wanted them to be a bit more smooth, so I made mine with some transition pieces that I cut at quarter-inch intervals (5 1/4, 5 1/2, and 5 3/4 inches, for example). Also, I didn’t start with 6 inches. I didn’t want my trees to be that chubby…and I went down to about 3/4 of an inch squares on the top. (It’s hard to get them on the needles without ripping them. Just go slow and be careful.

For the base and the center, I used knitting needles from my mother-in-law and wooden frames that my handy Hubs made for my using old lumber scraps from my dad’s garage. He even painted them brown for me!

You had no idea that he was so crafty, did you?

I should say that I tried to use baking clay (that I made from a recipe I found on the internet) and it went into the oven like this:

All ready to make trees, and the ornaments were just for fun with the leftovers

But then this happened:

oops...

So, I went with something a bit more sturdy.

And started stacking the squares like this:

Watch out for your fingers. I don't recommend using more than a few sheets at a time...

It does work to do more than one sheet at a time, as long as you arrange them a bit in your hand by alternating the corners a bit to make your trees look nice and full all the way around.

Keep stacking with the different sized squares until you reach the size and shape that you want for your tree. I left a bit on the top of mine to tie my ribbon on, but you could top yours anyway you like.

Almost done. Ready for decorating!

I also sprayed the edges of mine with glitter spray to make them a bit more festive. And I used bright colored bits of newspaper so my trees had a bit of color on them.

But..I have one last secret. Are you ready?

Martha suggests that you start with some sturdy card stock on the bottom of your stack to help support the weight of the thin newsprint. But I interspersed layers of card stock all the way up my tree to keep it from sagging. (If you watch the Martha Stewart video, you’ll see that her trees are fatter and a bit more droopy than mine.)

Have fun with yours! I'm not sure how I'm going to store them until next year...but I'll let you know if I have any ideas. You do the same!

Categories: How To... | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Honey, how’s your belly?” (Another sleep-talking adventure)

On Christmas night, we indulged in a late dinner of delicious, rich, and not-so-healthy appetizers and sweets aplenty at my parents’ house before opening gifts together. When we went to bed, Hubs had a bit of a bellyache.

Now, normally, this wouldn’t have been an issue, but since my sister had been sick the day before, I was concerned it wasn’t the late, heavy dinner, but rather a bug, a contagious bug, a contagious bug that I was sure to get the next day being that I seem to have a less than awesome immune system most of the time.

(Plus, I was sick not so long ago, (remember from this post?), and I did not need or want to revisit it.)

So when I woke up in the middle of the night and rolled over, and Hubs also woke up and rolled over, I asked him, “Honey, how’s your belly?”

To which he answered, “I don’t have one…”

“HONEY, how’s your BELLY?”

“I don’t have one!”

“Honey, how’s your stomach?”

“It’s fine…”

And then I laughed, quietly of course, and went back to sleep while Hubs huffed a bit and did the same.

Do you guys have sleep-talking stories to share? Or is this something we alone are blessed with?

And don’t worry, Hubs isn’t embarrassed by telling this story. In fact, I love when this sort of thing happens, because when I tell him about it the next day, he laughs louder than he usually laughs for anything else. (And I love to hear him laugh because he laughs with his whole self and his entire face lights up. Being the person to make him laugh that way always makes my heart happy.)

You know what they say, “the secret to a life filled with laughter is being able to laugh at yourself.”

Plus, laughter is certainly important in marriage. We’ve bypassed many arguments already in our short few months of marriage just by suddenly recognizing the humor of the situation and beginning to chuckle. Plus, it helps us not take ourselves too seriously, while still maintaining a very serious commitment to making this marriage work.

Categories: Laughs | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Christmas time…was here…

First of all, I want to say that I hope all of you had a great Christmas and that I missed all of you very much during our crazy Christmas spectacular.

Hi, we're newlyweds. It's our first Christmas! Ok, so I'm a bit over excited...still.

I apologize for my lack of blogging, but as we were traveling for five days to celebrate seven Christmases, I hope you’ll forgive me and promise to still come back often and read now that things are more settled down at home.

Also, since I have so much to share with all of you, I’ve decided to offer you a highlight reel, of sorts, of our first newlywed Christmas. But since I’m so much of a Christmas carol nut, why not offer it to you in a 12 days of Christmas style “song?”

I can’t think of a reason not to, so here I go:

For the first part of Christmas, my true love (that’s Hubs), gave to me…

…ok, I won’t sing the whole thing to you, but you get the idea, right?

A brand new Honda window. Remember when Wyatt’s car was broken into. I wrote about it here. Well, we got it fixed on Friday while we were in Sedalia. It was an expensive little extra pit stop to our Christmas weekend, but we’re happy to no longer have plastic taped to our car, and to no longer have to worry about glass chunks getting into everything back there.

2 spare bedrooms: We have the blessing of having a nice place to stay at both of our parents’ houses when we visit. It’s not always easy to divide time evenly between both houses, but we love visiting each place and appreciate having a little room to be our “home away from home.”

3 graham cracker houses. On Friday night, we spent the night at my parents’ house with my little cousins getting ready for Christmas at my grandparents’ the next day. What better way to spend Christmas Eve Eve than making these cute little creations?

Much easier and smaller than traditional gingerbread. And just as fun!

4 nights away: We love our apartment and our bed here. It’s not that we don’t appreciate having family and friends to visit, but we also love being home. When we got home yesterday at 1:00, and I had to be at work at 2:00, I asked Hubs, will you please lay down with me for twenty minutes until I need to get ready for work? He gladly obliged and we took a short nap. Or rather, I took a short nap, and he slept 2 hours or so after I got up and dressed and off to work.

5 slight mishaps: 1. A dead poinsettia. It might have made it to Christmas with one red lead still on, but since we weren’t here, we’ll never know. I’ll go ahead and admit to killing it, although I don’t know why since I don’t usually have such bad luck with my greenish thumb.

Dead. Very dead. Oops. Sorry, little guy.

2. Wyatt found a present I was going to put in his stocking, so he was down one gift and up one surprise a few days early. No harm done, it was still a great stocking, if I do say so myself.

3. We left a pile of clean laundry on the floor when we left because we didn’t get time to fold it. Now it’s a pile of clean, wrinkled laundry. Oh well.

May have to rewash these...oops. Ah well, it's not a big deal. I have a mountain of new dirty laundry anyway.

4. We ended up staying an extra night in Sedalia because of a forgotten car inspection that we had to reschedule for the morning of the 27th. In the end, it turned out just fine, but we had to wait an extra day to open our presents at our apartment.

5. We lost the list of who owes us money for presents we purchased for them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not worried about the money, but it would be nice to find the list so we could let people know.

6 filled stockings: We had plenty of fun with these small-sized gifts. I think they’re super fun to fill and open! It was my first time filling a stocking for anyone. (I made Hub’s stocking) and loved finding small things he would love to fill it up. You know what they say, “Good things come in small packages!”

7 celebrations. We are so blessed to have so many people to celebrate with and visit. I love being home for the holidays and exchanging gifts with those we love. While seven different Christmas celebrations may seem a bit overwhelming, and at first it was daunting, we really enjoyed our time at each place. And while Hubs was tired of driving by the end of our long weekend, we really did enjoy our time in the car with each other. We don’t have a radio, remember? So we had plenty of time for talking. Hubs will roll his eyes at that, but if he’s honest, as he always is, he’ll admit that he enjoyed the car time just as much as me, I’m sure.

8 amazing “meals.” Sharing food with loved ones is an important part of any holiday, at least to us. And we certainly didn’t miss out on any great food this weekend. From breakfasts, brunches, lunches, and dinners, as well as snacks in between and even a meal out with just Hubs and I before all the festivities began, we were certainly spoiled this weekend, and ready to enjoy some leftovers this week!

9 kinds of chocolate: Enough said. I have lots of eating to do. And lots of candy to fill my candy-eating needs. I’m off to a good start though. I’ve already eaten half the bag of the peppermint bark with dark chocolate…oh…my…goodness…yum.

10 Christmas cards. I was shocked by how many people remembered to send us some holiday mail in our first Christmas as a married couple on our own! There’s some others up there, including some festive part invites that were too pretty to not pin up!

See yours? If not, send us one next year! We'll send you one, back! (I didn't get enough this year, but next year, I'll be prepared!) Oh, and there may be some that we haven't opened yet. There's a stack of mail to go through...so don't worry if yours isn't counted yet!

11 bags of paper...ok, I’m not sure how many trash bags full of ripped-up tissue paper and wrapping paper and bows and bags were gone through this weekend, but it was a lot. And there’s nothing like watching little ones tear open gifts, or tears in the eyes of an adult whose heart has truly been touched by the simple thoughtfulness of a gift from the heart. I love the simple joy of a present and was blessed by seeing so many opened this weekend, both by us and from us, and from others to others! To me, there’s nothing unhappy about a present, both wrapped and unwrapped!

See, my beautiful mom is excited about her gift!

And dad liked his gift. I bet you can't guess what it was...

12 favorite gifts. Please don’t think I’m bragging about all we got, I’m bragging on the wonderful family members who blessed us so much this year! And they’re listed in the order I’m seeing them as I glance around our messy living room, not the order we got them or based on how much I love them. We both love them all!

1. An extra mixer bowl for my beautiful yellow kitchenaid mixer. It will mean less washing and more baking per every recipe!

2. An 8 pound Oreck vaccuum. I LOVE it. Our old, smelly clunker that makes more noise than it sucks up stuff into the bag is going into the garbage. Soon.

3. Ornaments for our tree. Here’s a few I love. We got several great ones though!

From Hubs. He did a good job picking this out. It was JUST what I wanted.

From me to Hubs.

More for next year!

4. Sporting KC season tickets for Hubs. He can share with me sometimes, or buy me a ticket to some games when I want to come along, and next year, we might invest in one for me as well, but so far for this year, he’s ready for March! (I am, too!)

5. A cookbook filled with recipes from both Wyatt’s family and mine. I can’t wait to cook and bake my way through this much-appreciated blessing, and add more recipes as we find other family favorites! What a great surprise that everyone was working on for so long as a surprise!

6. Two Christmas books to add to my collection. Yes, I collect Christmas books and put them in a basket next to our couch to read and re-read each year. It’s my favorite Christmas tradition I think, and I love that when I get one as a gift from a loved one, I have that extra-special connection to that story every year afterwards.

7. A bird figurine from my Grandma’s collection. Your all know about our love dove bird I found at a garage sale, and the bird-themed artwork in our bedroom. For some reason, lately, I love birds. I’m a picky collector, though, because I don’t want to cross over the line to a crazy bird lady. A little bird (or birds) goes a long way, in my opinion. It’s sort of a “one great bird on the shelf is worth 10 not so great ones all over my house” sort of situation, if you know what I mean.

8. An 18 quart Brita pitcher thing that will hopefully not fight me as much as our little pitcher does. For those that don’t know how much I love/hate that thing, read this post.

9. Cooling racks, serving utensils, a gravy strainer, a tiny crock pot, medium-sized roaster pan, meatloaf dish, and eggies, aprons, grill pan, champagne glasses, icing gun, and more! I love my kitchen! And those that know me, know that! I’m stoked to use all my new kitchen goodies!

10. A homemade recipe book from my best friend, Liz, who printed out and decorated the cutest little scrapbook you’ll ever see with recipes from my blog. Love it! What a fun keepsake from our first year of marriage!

11. An old-fashioned little donut cutter from my Grandma Lois. Hubs loves to make homemade donuts with her and now we have the recipe and a cutter and can make them ourselves. Though I don’t know if we’ll ever get it exactly like she does!

Making donuts is becoming a Christmas tradition as well!

Yum. Ready to fry.

The boys love to do this part.

12. EVERYTHING ELSE I DIDN’T GET TO MENTION. We really did get endless awesome gifts. Our families really blessed us this year. In fact, I’m almost embarrassed to share everything we received because it seems like WAY too much! But I know that giving presents is a big part of our family’s traditions and I’m so excited to find places for all of our new goodies in our apartment, and I’m more excited to use and enjoy all the wonderful things we were given.

Hubs and I opened our gifts last night after I got home from work. Finally! I was so excited from waiting so long!

Excited newlyweds!

I know Christmas isn’t about the gifts and people complain, rightly so, about how materialistic the holiday can become, but for me, I LOVE the way that giving someone a gift, even something small or homemade can really bring them joy, in a simple, small way. Giving someone a gift shows you care about them, you pay attention to their desires and needs, know what they like, and want to share in the happiness they experience when surprised with something special. Our cups are certainly overflowing with blessings this week. Our apartment is overflowing as well!

Yes, it's a mess. I'll get it picked up eventually. I've had long work hours yesterday and am soon headed out again today. I thought it was more important to write to you guys, right?

But when we think back to the basics of it all, Christmas is ALL about gifts. A gift of a baby, a Savior, and the forgiveness and everlasting life he gives. After all, we love because he loved us, and forgive because he forgave us. So, we take time and offer our resources at this time of year to give to others because he gave to us.

The lights my family has put up on the farm every year since I can remember. Another favorite tradition of mine.

No, it’s not the same kind of gift, and yes, it’s easy to go overboard and spend too much. But we were careful to budget our spending and careful to pick out things people would love and use without spending a fortune, and I’m thankful our families are all able to do the same.

We LOVED our first Christmas. What about you?

So, there’s our 12 “things” of Christmas. Clearly, we had a fabulous weekend and were very, very, VERY blessed! What about you? Is your cup running over as well? I’d love to hear about it! Please share!

Categories: Adventures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Paper Tree Tutorial #1 (Folder Version)

Just to let you know, I had a nice blog post all ready to give you yesterday and WordPress had a slight hiccup and somehow it all got lost. (So much for the automatic saving, right?)

Anyway, I apologize for the delay, but here’s what I was going to share with you yesterday but didn’t get around to retyping out. 

Here’s how I made my paper trees!

That Christmas card collection is much more full now! Thanks! Oh, but this picture is about the trees, how nice! Right?

Now, since I didn’t come up with this idea, nor did I necessarily do a great job of explaining it, I’ll share this link. It’s the page I went to when I was learning this little craft. It’s pretty exciting to watch the video, ok, not, but it did help a lot, so that’s your choice.

Anyway, here’s what I did.

First of all, I used old magazines and catalogs, as well as a real estate booklet thing. I will say that it works better to choose magazines with binding instead of just staples because the pages tend to rip out of the staples as you fold, just a heads up.

Start by breaking the binding, bending it back and forth to make less of a definition of where the cover naturally opened and closed originally.

Then start folding each page the first time around by taking the top right corner down to the center fold, making a big triangle with a right angle on the left side, (yes, geometry will help later in life!) like this.

Yes, I took a picture to show you the fitness page, just in case those holiday treats have you inspired to do some strength training while folding. No? Ok, that's fine, too.

I think it worked better to move the pages around to the back of the stack (like the way you move the passed calendar pages down to the bottom so the top part isn’t so thick on the nail as the year goes on? Or is that example only work for me? Let me know if I’m alone in that little trick…) as you work your way through the book because otherwise, the side are very lopsided and I think it was easier to work with the folds if I kept it more level.

When you’re done with that, it should look something like this.

Nice, huh?

After you have all these initial folds done, go back and start round two. This time, you again take the right hand side and fold it into the center, making an even skinnier little triangle. It’s okay if it hangs over the bottom edge of your book. It’s supposed to do that.

Keep in mind that your pages will look different depending on what size book you started with.

My hand looks weird in this picture. Oh well. At least my ring looks nice.

Ok, again, I like to move the pages around as I go. But Martha doesn’t do that, so it’s up to you.

Next comes the hard part. Okay, it isn’t that hard, but it’s less easy. Because so far, my little cousins could do this on their own, all day, blindfolded. I’m kidding. But it is easy, no?

You have to fold the bottom part of this fold up to make it a right angle triangle again. I like to fold it up on the outside first, crease it, and then tuck it in. Martha just tucks it in all at once. But I thought that was too hard.

This is the folding up part. Easy enough.

Then the harder part…

Tucking in is the last step, so keep that in mind as this gets annoying.

After that, you should be ready to set it up and fan out the pages to make it as full and round as possible.

All done!

Then you can paint or glitter all you want. Do it outside and let them air out as long as possible. Turns out that cheap spray paint plus spray glitter plus thin paper makes for a pretty smelly tree.

(Sorry, hubs.)

Or you can leave them as is, but they didn’t look that “Christmasy” to me, so I went with the paint.

You can't see the glitter, but it's there, trust me.

 

I know the other trees were a bit cooler, so I’ll post about them soon.

It’s crazy here and everywhere, so posts may be fewer and far between until after the holidays. You’ll forgive me, right?

Categories: How To... | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Working Woman

Please note: The title of this post is not titled “Career Woman,” as I do not think my career will be defined by answering phones, making appointments, and attempting to organize the chaos of a busy shop on a busy day. However, I do like my job.

But, that being said, remember this post, when I was all optimistic about my new job?

Well, it’s not that I’m not still happy about the opportunity to make some money or that I dislike my job or the people I work with. It’s that when I work double shifts, like the past 2 days, I don’t see Hubs very much!

He gets up and goes to work, leaving by 7:20 or so. I usually am also up, making his lunch, sometimes making breakfast, sometimes struggling to keep my eyes open, but it’s not exactly quality time when I’m barely awake and he’s rushing to get out the door on the way to work.

But then I don’t see him until I get home at 9:15 or 9:30 (just because we close at 9, doesn’t mean I can leave at 9) and Hubs is usually tired and ready for bed by 10:15 or so. Not much quality time there.

Plus, I still need to adjust to not being home as much. I left the house with a pile of clean laundry on the floor that needed to be folded on Tuesday, and a messy MESSY kitchen on Wednesday.

Not that I think I need to always have a spotless home. Trust me, it’s usually a bit messy. And I don’t vacuum or mop our floors nearly enough. I do try to keep the dishes under control though, because we don’t have much kitchen to spare, and I like to fold the laundry right away so it doesn’t get wrinkled. I’m sure you guys understand this stuff, right?

And you’ll all be happy to know that Hubs has been super awesome this crazy work week for me. He made dinner on Saturday, Tuesday, and last night, though it was separate dinners last night since we didn’t eat together. He cleaned the kitchen on Monday night, including unloading the dishwasher, which I hate to do.

And he’s just been altogether a great helper and friend to me. As he should be as my husband.

I’m not trying to brag on him too much or show off my skills in selecting a great man. I’m also not trying to guilt him into doing more of this stuff (yes he reads all my posts) because honestly, I like doing all these things around the house (except the floors and the unloading of the dishwasher). It’s just that as my “helpmate suitable,” he knows when I need and want help and is willing to fill my bucket in that way.

(For more on what I think about helpmates, read this post.)

So, since I now have less that an hour before I have to be at work, I need to get up and get going. Dressing up for work every day is fine, except that it takes me a lot longer to get ready than I’ve been used to. Not that I don’t try to look nice for everyday stuff with Hubs, it’s just that it takes time to put on eye make up and put together a new outfit every day. I’m out of practice at all this, after all!

So while I’m trying to not complain at all about this job, I am so looking forward to a weekend off to take a little trip. We’ll have time to see friends, eat cookies, talk in the car (no radio after all, remember?), see lots and lots of glorious Christmas lights, hang out with my family, shop for presents, and eat out, though mostly, I’m just excited for a little husband and wife quality time together to just be us and relax and have fun doing things we used to love when we were dating. (And some things we didn’t do while we were dating!)

It’s going to be spectacular. But I have to get through the next double shift at work. Wish me luck!

 

 

Categories: Everyday Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Our stockings are hung…by the kitchen with care…

It’s Christmastime here in our tiny apartment. I’m used to having a whole big farmhouse all decorated in greenery and snowmen. But here, we have neither greenery nor snowmen.

What we do have is Christmas spirit! Or rather, I have that and Hubs just plays along to make me happy. Don’t get me wrong, he had fun decorating our tree, but he certainly wouldn’t have fretted too much if we had decided we didn’t have room for a tree.

But…never fear, because Christmas is here!

Ta-da!

Yup, that’s our first Christmas tree, folks. I’m proud we decorated frugally, so I’ll share what we learned in this adventure.

First of all, make stuff yourself! Like these trees! (That I’ll post about later!)

Yup, I like paper crafts. And pine cones, from my parents' yard at home, in our fruit bowl.

It’s part of the little scene on top of bookshelf #1

Candles are from my mom's unused decor box. They're several years old, but certainly still look pretty.

And the nativity set? Another tip, “re-use.”

I bought this YEARS ago during a sale of wood-carved products from Bethlehem at my church. It's all we have for now.

I also have a tree like that on the shelf in our living room.

I got the idea from here.

With our "love dove," candlestick, and our freshly printed free subway art, of course, see how we re-purpose?.

The print is from here.

And I HAVE to show you the adorable place mats my mother-in-law made for me. How adorable are they?

Sooooo cute!

And our second kind of paper trees, the folded ones I made, and I’ll post about, with our growing collection of Christmas cards.

It's a wintery forest in our pass-through! Oh, and there's the poinsettia that may or may not make it until Christmas...

I got the ideas for the trees from the mothership, Martha, of course.

And we also have stockings! But as the title of this post suggests, we had a bit of a dilemma when deciding where to hang them, as we have no fireplace.

But we got a shelf from my parents’ basement. (It’s a wonderland of usable stuff down there, though my mother’s probably horrified I’m admitting how much is down there. Sorry, Mom!)

Hubs painted it white, and I sanded it down to give it that vintage look I like. It’s old enough to really be vintage, it just needed a little love.

The stockings we made for each other. He made mine several years ago. I made his a few weeks ago.

See, we can even make our own stockings! His is made from an old pair of jeans. And since we don’t have a sewing machine and Hubs would have FREAKED if I’d tried to smuggle it home, I had to sew it by hand, which took…awhile.

Here’s the whole look that greets you when you come in our front door by the kitchen now:

Decorated with candles and a free picture frame (from the church) to which I added a cute Christmas scrap-booking paper I already had, and a framed, free Christmas printable.

Print from tatertots and jello.

Closer look at the frame. Love it!

Cute!

There, our stockings are all ready to be filled up with fun little gifts.

And in the spirit of giving, I’m going to GIVE you all a little tour of our tree.

Here's our initial ornaments. I can't remember where or why we have these, if they're from you, thanks!

Here we go, a cute little “S” I got from the church I volunteer at.

You'll also see the red swirl ornaments Hubs picked out for us to buy, and a preview of the paper hearts I made. And the craft ribbon I had that we used as a garland.

Here’s one I made last year at school.

It's glow in the dark!

And the ornaments from my childhood that I collected as a kid but that haven’t been hanging on our family tree in a long time:

I have the whole series of these little books. They open and close and have such cute little scenes in them.

Oh, and you want to see the ornaments I made?

My paper hearts! I love how they turned out. I'll post instructions soon.

Here’s some more…

I bought this one ($2) because it reminded me of "happy wife, happy life." Or a happy hubs... (It went with a matching Merry Christmas one, but I liked this message even better than just wishing a Merry Christmas. I'm wishing y'all a Happy Everything!)

Oh and just to make sure I represent,

Am I happy Pujols left? Nope. But can he do what he wants? Yup. Besides, my man Molina is still there! And that's all I'm going to say about it. Oh, and don't forget the edible decorations, the candy canes!

It makes my heart happy to have our tree up and looking so festive. Who cares if our ornaments and decorations are a bit skimpy and we only spent 5 bucks on our tree. I say it’s beautiful!

Happy home.

Categories: Adventures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Whose toothbrush is it anyway?

Remember yesterday when I promised I’d show you pictures of our beautiful tree and our apartment all dolled up for the holidays?

Well, I will, but first I want to tell you a story.

One time last week, when Hubs and I were getting ready for bed, I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth. I got there first so I selected my toothbrush out of the container and added the toothpaste and started brushing.  At least, I thought I selected my toothbrush…until I went to hand Hubs the pink one and we both looked down at that brush and then up at the blue brush that was currently hanging out of my open mouth.

Oops.

Then I started laughing, and a minor choking incident may have occurred. Remember a long time ago, when I wrote about that happening in this post?

And you know what else? I made a quick decision, shrugged, and just kept brushing while Wyatt rolled his eyes and grabbed the pink one. At that point, it didn’t really matter I suppose. And in all reality, we’ve certainly shared enough spit in other ways for this to not really gross us out. But kissing is different than a toothbrush, right?

Either way, it made me think of this, starting at 2:55 and going until 3:52, but watch the whole thing, really:

Anyway, sorry for this random interlude, I just needed to share.

Hope you enjoyed the laughs!

(Oh, and check back for Christmas photos! I promise!)

Categories: Laughs | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Stealing things is a lot different than stealing joy

Friday night was not a great night here in newlywedville. (Yes, I know that’s not a real word, or a real place.)

Just to give you some background information, neither Hubs nor I owned a credit card before we got married. In fact, we had a slight panic before the wedding when we were trying to make honeymoon arrangements and needed one to reserve hotel rooms. We got that all worked out and use it pretty much only to buy gas or large grocery shopping trips just for the cash back. We try to be responsible and pay it off every month and until Friday, we had no problems.

But, Friday night while checking the balance to pay it off, Hubs discovered a $900+ charge to an online golf warehouse. While he would like a new set of golf clubs, these certainly weren’t purchased by us. So we had to deal with that. Luckily, we won’t be responsible for the payment, but it’s still a hassle.

Then, Saturday morning when he was getting ready to leave, Wyatt discovered his car had been broken into. They threw a rock or something through the window and stole the radio and his MP3 player. Keep in mind, people, that his car is a ’90 Honda accord, and his radio and Zune were at least 5-7 years old, maybe even 10, I’d guess.

So we had a pretty eventful weekend, all things considered. It’s a weird feeling to be stolen from. Not only do you feel angry and frustrated at everything you have to deal with, there’s also a sense of violation that comes into play. Someone was in your space, touching and taking your things. It makes my skin crawl a bit. And then there’s the loss. We’re not rich, we don’t have a lot, and while a radio and music player aren’t necessities, we’ll certainly feel their absence. We’ve both reached for the radio knob while driving several times. And we’ll have to pay to get the window fixed.

We also had to pay for the plastic to cover the broken window. (Yes, we’re reppin’ the plastic taped to the window. I hesitate to say “white trash” for fear of offending anyone in a similar situation, but let’s just say we felt a bit conspicuous driving around in nicer neighborhoods this weekend.)

So why can I honestly say we still had a good weekend, despite all this craziness?

Well, because we did our best to deal with each situation and we moved on. Yes, Hubs was REALLY mad when he discovered the car window broken and everything gone, and yes, I could see the anger and annoyance and even hurt in his eyes when he was on the phone with the credit card company. But when we sat down together at the end of the day on Saturday night after dealing with all this, we were both relaxed and smiling.

Of course, that could have also had something to do with our decorated tree and the couple of beers we’d enjoyed. Oh, and the holiday cheer that came from watching Rudolph on TV. Can you believe Hubs had NEVER seen it before? NEVER? I was amazed and amused as he got a kick out of the name “Yukon Cornelius.”

The beginning of the good part of this weekend.

Yes, I know you’ve seen that post if you follow me on Twitter. Want to follow me on twitter? Sounds like a good plan to me! Go here.

So, what did I learn this weekend? Lots of things.

1. Locking your doors is important, but not ALWAYS helpful. If someone wants in, they’ll get in. Also, I’m thankful my car has an alarm system that tends to go off at random times that I’m usually annoyed by. At least there’s a chance it would go off in a case like this…

2. I’m thankful for our neighbors down below who happened to see a guy lurking around cars checking the doors a night last week while he was standing on his deck smoking. No, it didn’t stop us from having to deal with this, but it might have stopped us from having to deal with it on a weekday when Hubs would have needed to go to work, and it might have stopped us from having to deal with it twice. Who knows? Either way, I’m glad to know he’s watching out when he’s out there.

3. I so admire that Wyatt tries so hard to control his emotions around me and that he’s successful at these attempts. I’ve seen him get very angry before (never at me), but I was a bit intimidated to see that fire in his eyes anytime it would happen. Every year we’ve been together, I’ve seen him grow and mature in the way he deals with things that anger and upset him. Yes, he was justified in being upset, but I’m so thankful to never have to be concerned about my safety or the probability of him busting his fist through a wall and I respect and admire the way he works through problems instead of blowing up.

4. No matter how safe our apartment feels or how much I like the area of the city we live in, it’s still the city and there are still reasons to not roll my eyes when my mom says to be careful up here. I should never be casual about my surroundings.

5. Being married to a man I trust is so comforting. He’s not only my best friend and our family’s provider, he’s also my protector. And falling asleep in his arms is exactly where I want to end every night. Reason # 163 why Husband roommates are the best.

6. Christmas festivities really do make my heart happy. And like the expression says, “Happy wife, happy life.” When I was excited about decorating our tree, Hubs was grinning and playing along as well.  It’s our first Christmas as husband and wife, and our tree is beautiful. So beautiful, in fact, that I admit to shedding a few tears. But when I had tears in my eyes on Saturday night, it was for a totally different reason than the tears that fell Friday night.

What’s that? You want to see our tree all dolled up?

You’ll have to check back and see it tomorrow!

 

Categories: Adventures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Friday Night Breakdown

I had a bit of a breakdown last night. And I’m not even sure why.

It all started because our apartment was a mess. I keep wanting to decorate for Christmas but things keep getting in the way. Like laundry and dirty dishes and a messy coffee table. Plus, I’m having trouble visualizing how to decorate our apartment because 1. I’ve never done it before, 2. We don’t have a lot of decorations that will work, and 3. We don’t have room to add a lot of things. We’re already close to capacity.

Then, Hubs was watching some sort of stupid zombie show or movie, or something. I hate stuff like that. And it was already almost 9:00 by the time we finished dinner. I think it had something to do with Wyatt working late and me deciding to make meatloaf anyway, which I couldn’t find the recipe for and takes like an hour to cook.

Oh well, it was still good.

But I was still salty.

And I’m still not sure why.

(Keep in mind, I know I’m coming off as being super ridiculous in this post, please just bear with me. I’m being honest, after all.)

All I know is that after a few short remarks and annoyed comments, Hubs turned off the TV and gave in.

And then I started crying.

Man, I hate when I do that.

Not that I dislike crying. I mean, it makes my face red and my eyes puffy and my noise stuffy. Who wouldn’t love that? Plus, it gets me absolutely no where. Usually I just realize how pathetic I’m being and that I have no reason to be crying, which usually makes me cry more. Awesome.

So then we went to bed, and I was unhappy until I fell asleep. Luckily, I woke up feeling much better.

Ten hours of sleep will do that for you when you’re upset for no reason.

And you know what?

Wyatt got up and went out on the deck to hang up our Christmas lights on the balcony.

So here’s my question…

Did he purposely wait until I was feeling better and ready to move on before he did something to make me feel better? Did he realize that even if he would have helped me decorate last night, it wouldn’t have been enough and I still would have been upset? Or was he just tired and ready to go to bed? I guess I should give him credit because I’m not sure I would have been able to

Is it better to NOT have a fight if you know that no good will come of it? I hate not resolving issues, but what if there is no real issue. Was Hubs right to just force me to sleep it off? (Force is a strong word, he would have woken up and tried to fix it if I’d really tried that. As if was, I just listened to him lightly snoring until I drifted off to sleep because even though I was upset, I wasn’t mad enough to purposely wake him up and pick a fight.)

This morning, I woke up and rolled over away from Wyatt. He woke up when I stirred and turned over as well, wrapping his arms around me and pulling me in close. Immediately I snuggled into him and breathed a sigh of relief. Whatever I was upset about last night, I couldn’t even remember. I didn’t know why I was mad last night, and this morning, it seemed too far away to bother worrying about.

And another big question? Will we ever really learn this stuff? Or is it trial and error forever?

I guess this is why so many marriages don’t work. No matter how much we want to get along all the time, we’re human and we have bad days and nights. We’re going to fight. We’re going to be grumpy and selfish.

The important thing is that we keep making a commitment to going to bed together and waking up happy to be in each other’s arms.

Advice? Insight? Stories from experience.

Categories: Everyday Life | 4 Comments

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: