Sunday, December 30, 2007

No slowing down

After the holidays and all of the family time (including the big extended get-together today) Blake and I were looking forward to a nice week of relaxation, but it looks like our plate is full again!

1. Work tomorrow
2. New Year's Day with Blake's family (I've been a little under the weather, so we re-scheduled from last week)
3. The Wizard of Oz auditions at the high school
4. Second trip to IKEA because it's about time for me to finally get my bookcase!
5. Epiphany party with office staff on Friday evening
6. Blake has another meeting with the Dr. on Friday as well
7. I'm filling in all of the other empty spaces with work, practicing, and meetings.
8. Oh yes, and trying to track down my curtains and fitting in a matinée showing of P.S., I Love You if time allows. The book is phenomenal. One of my favorites.

I'm growing so fond of these little lists. I check my own blog as often as some of you do just to make sure I'm accomplishing everything that I've got on my schedule! More to come soon!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

More Christmas stuff

Blake and I made out like bandits shopping today. We decided to take advantage of the huge clearance sales on Christmas items, and left with the following:

1. An entire ribbon collection {which makes me very happy!}
2. Two additional Christmas trees {hey, we've got a big house!}
3. Decorations for both of the new trees
4. Garland
5. Wrapping paper
6. A beautiful angel tree topper
7. Gift tags
8. Three storage tubs {You can't ever have too many of those. They really help me organize my life! Who cares if they are Christmas colored?}
9. Two tree skirts {It's probably time for us to retire the blanket that we use as a faux tree skirt. :) }
10. Five sets of Christmas tree lights {Including red ones for Blake's 2008 Nebraska Husker tree...}
11. Invites for next year's holiday party {that's right. We're going to try to have an annual holiday party of friends, family, food, and fun! ooh la la!}

I was so ecstatic about our purchases and subsequent huge savings, that I really wanted to come home and set it all up! If you are looking for Christmas stuff, I suggest you take advantage of the great sales going on right now. I can't wait for holiday season 2008!

Following my curtains

I am obsessed with knowing the whereabouts of my curtains. I've been in contact with UPS and about them and I'm still hoping they get re-routed and sent back to me. :( Apparently they weren't going to Ohio as I thought...hmm...Georgia?

Check out their journey all over the mid-United States:

Date Time Location Service Area Checkpoint Details

Dec 27, 2007 12:50:00 AM HODGKINS IL US ARRIVAL SCAN
Dec 24, 2007 04:00:00 AM DUBUQUE IA US ARRIVAL SCAN

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

How does this happen?

It appears that I may never get my wonderful black and white damask curtains.

After UPS failed to deliver once, and then sent them back to the call center in OHIO, I called for replacements, which Target happily provided {I love that store for so many reasons!}. All seemed well on the home front until I decided to track my package again tonight.

THE SAME THING! My curtains are headed back to OHIO!!!!

What is especially perplexing about this situation is that they delivered the first half of my order from Target {the sad blue curtains that were not what I had in mind} to our front door step, yet they keep saying, and recording, that there is a wrong address on the second half of the order. Here's the kicker: It's the same address that was on the first package {believe me, I've verified it with UPS and with Target multiple times. I think they were actually annoyed that I kept repeating it. :) } I just want my curtains! *Sigh*

Happy Holidays

I hope all of you had a very safe and blessed Christmas and holiday season. Blake and I had a lovely time with those near and dear to us {we still have another Christmas this weekend! yay! :)}. I just adore time with my family. Here's a small peek into our celebration thus far. Enjoy, and happy holidays!

Our Party

Blake and I had prepared for a wonderful housewarming party last Sunday, only to be greeted by arctic winds {gusts up to 45 mph!} and snow which left the roads in terrible shape for many of those hoping to travel our way. Our guest list of 40 dwindled as the hours went by {as did my hopes of getting rid of all of the food I had prepared}, but five brave souls still made it out to help us celebrate our first holiday season in our new place and were good sports about having to eat so much food.

Thanks to:
1. Meredith
2. John
3. Lola
4. Mike
5. Jess-o

For those of you that missed it, here's a little look at the set-up before the guests arrived. Of course, Sophie's in the picture. She's such a diva.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

One step forward, two steps back.

Let's make that two steps forward and two steps back. My parents and our friend, Meredith, were over today to help us take two giant leaps forward in fixing up the house, and getting ready for the party. We are so thankful for all of their help today!

1. We got some of the Christmas goodies for our party made! :)
2. Finally, some art on our walls, and all of our curtain rods are up.

Mom, finding her way around my kitchen

Dad, measuring for curtain rods.

Meredith, framing some pictures.

However, we have had two minor setbacks in the meantime:

1. The pretty blue curtains that were supposed to match my rug in the basement, don't match even a little bit. So, the search continues....

2. Apparently our delivery service {ahem...UPS} doesn't know the difference between OH and IA. After doing an online tracking of the missing half of our online curtain order, I discovered that our lovely black and white Damask panels have, in fact, been delived to OH and not IA. Thank heavens the lovely representative at Target offered to send replacements. What can brown do for me? Delivering my package to the right state would be a great start.

I was hoping to have curtains up by party time, but apparently there will be no such luck.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My envelope from Wayne

It's funny that my sister blogged about the very thing I was wanting to blog about this evening. You can read her article about Uncle Wayne here {My stamp has already found a home on my fridge}. I must brag that the "awesome uncle" also happens to be my Godfather. Woop! Here is my envelope and stamp from awesome Uncle Wayne {after I ripped into it to get out the Christmas card}!

And, as an added special touch, check out what he wrote on the inside {he's funny too!}:

American Lung Association - Seasons Greetings 1988!

Monday, December 17, 2007


I was told I was having a party on the evening of Dec. 23rd as a sort of holiday housewarming {believe me, my house is in no shape for an actual housewarming party...that will be coming sometime in the spring}. This sounded like a great idea, so I sort of took the idea and ran with it. My problem: I have no clue how many people I've invited, or told about this party. If you are an invitee, please RSVP via a comment here and let me know the number of guests. I just want to know how many people I should be planning for so that I can make you all some pretty delicious finger food.

The menu {so far -- and subject to change}:

1. Traditional holiday goodies {peanut clusters, carter candy, pretzels, etc.}
2. Meatballs in special sauce
3. Cheese and Crackers
4. Chips and Taco Dip {I'm assigned Taco Dip for the extended family get-together this year. You people will be my guinea pigs as I've never made it before!}
5. Fresh Veggies
6. Truffle Brownie Cups {via Jennifer's recipe seen here}
7. Various beverages (wine, beer, soda, water, milk}
8. And for a late dessert, Grasshoppers {But I have to find a blender first. :)}

Sunday, December 16, 2007

About my poll

Apparently, Lola has gathered up quite the team to amass her insane amount of votes on my poll. Co-workers, her husband, and various other random people who were e-mailed have all pitched in to help her reach an unbelievable 2500+ votes. Congratulations Lola! It looks like you're going to be the winner. Kudos to Brian, though, for a very valiant effort in the voting game.

Side note: Sophie is back to her usual self.....except, I'm waiting for her bowels to start working again. They seem to have taken a break with the onset of illness.

More paint

Painting is the story of my life right now. It's all we've been doing for the past two weekends. We did, however, manage to squeeze in a couple of Christmas parties this weekend {Free food = Bonus! Since we seem to be a little slim on the food around here lately!}, which was a nice break from the paint fumes! I need to do my second coat of trim in the main basement, and some ceiling touch-ups in both rooms this week, but so far, here's our progress:

1. The basement bedroom has some pretty white curtains {not pictured}, and is pretty much done! I can't wait to put my bookshelf in here!

2. The dark brown walls are so gorgeous. The other walls are basically the same color as the couch {pictured} and our curtains should arrive this week. They will be the same color as the pretty blue IKEA rug in our picture. I seriously can't wait to have this room all put together! AH! :)

Thursday, December 13, 2007


I've never felt more behind on preparing for the Christmas season. I have many people to shop for {9}, and I have gotten presents for only a few of them! The presents that I already have aren't even wrapped, so they don't even look pretty underneath the tree! We've ordered some of them online, and are just awaiting their arrival. In some cases, I don't even know what to get people. Usually I find it inspirational to think of things to get family and friends {and I start really early}, but with the fuss of the whole moving and unpacking process, I've sort of spaced out how soon Christmas will be here. And now, I'm kicking myself....

At least I have some pretty wrapping paper, and a quaint little Christmas tree to enjoy for the time being. :)

PS: Take a look at my poll (in the left hand column) that has 367 votes. Usually I only get 15 votes on a poll, so I'm guessing a lot of people know my siblings. Or, some of them have been really busy voting, clearing cookies, and voting again. My vote is with the latter, especially since one of them {ahem...LOLA} has 267 votes! :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sophie Update

After a really long night, we finally got in with the vet this morning. He thinks she has tonsillitis. His exact phrase was that her throat was "redder than meat." I guess her throat is so swollen that when she swallows anything (including water...even her own saliva!) she ultimately ends up gagging herself, which therefore makes her vomit.

He gave her a shot, and a couple of pills. And for the next few days, I get to give her some liquid medicine with a syringe (the little kid version of amoxicillin --bright pink!). I also have to attempt to get her to swallow a pill once a day for the next five days. And, I get to feed her soft food (think gruel) with a syringe 2-3 times daily until she will eat it without the syringe. Then, I have to wean her back onto solid dog food.

The plus side: She's only thrown up 3 times today. WOOHOO!

It's almost like I have a child....

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


My dog is sick. I am worried. I can't take her anywhere today because of this crazy ice storm. She has thrown up somewhere in the vicinity of 18 times in the past two days. She has not eaten. I called the vet, and he recommended giving her a teaspoon of Pepto Bismal three times today. Since I don't have a little syringe to shoot it down her throat, I had to pry open her mouth and dump the teaspoon in there and then repeat the process with the portion that she spit out. She was not happy with me. I used to think it was sort of crazy the things people would do for their pets. But I find myself saying that I'll do whatever it takes to help Sophie feel better. If she is still ill tomorrow, we're taking a trip to the vet. I hope she gets better. She keeps making little whimpers while she is resting, indicating that she's in some sort of pain. This makes me sad. She's a comfort to have around in this big house while Blake is gone during the week, and she's so fun when he's here. She's our family.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Our great IKEA adventure

I love IKEA. We made a day trip today, and left with a plethora of things for our house! Curtains, curtain rods, organizers, a rug, some clearance Christmas items for next year, a couple decor items, etc.! We invited my mom along for the ride...she was in heaven the minute she walked in the store. In her words, "It's so big!!!!" It took us about 4 hours to comb the entire store. I kept looking for reasons to go up and down the escalators so that I could shove my cart on its own little escalator thing. It's the kid in me..... :)

I'll be making another trip sometime after Christmas to pick up my bookshelf. I'm not paying a ridiculous amount for shipping. Jen, were we still planning on making that weekend trip that we talked about awhile back? If we are, that is the perfect opportunity to get my bookshelf. We'll just con mom into letting us take the van for comfort. ;)

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Front Step Christmas

I had my little Christmas caroling event with the Children's choir tonight. An overview of the event:

1. There were tons of desserts. I got to bring some home. I can't wait to eat them!
2. The hot chocolate was an adventure, but it went over very well. Just the right touch to keep people warm.
3. I wish it wouldn't have been windy. But, the snow was a nice touch.
4. Even though I told the children to bundle up, you would not believe how many of those little buggers came without hats, gloves, etc.! Where are their parents?!
5. I got a decent amount of complaints saying it should have been inside because it was cold. I liked the nostalgia of the cold, caroling, and the holiday season. Besides, it's December in Iowa. What did they expect?
6. The kids always sound so angelic when they sing. I wish we could get the angelic-ness to rub off on their behavior!

The overall verdict = Success. We're doing it again next year! :)


Blake and I have been busy painting this weekend, when our time allows. And clearly, Blake really looks like he is enjoying himself! Thankfully, we are nearly finished with our downstairs bedroom, which means, I get to order my bookcase soon! I'm going to work on touch-ups while Blake is gone this week. We even had time to do a little wall-art, in Bob Ross style. Sadly, it has been painted over. Next weekend, we're going to start tackling our giant basement. Once that is painted, we can finally start to put it all together! :)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Oven Squirrel

While searching for some Christmas gifts online, I clicked upon this wonderful little gadget. I've decided I want one oven squirrel for my counter, and for Blake's use, so that he won't be afraid to take things out of the oven. It's genius. Hold the tail, pull the hot oven rack out with the ears, push in with the paws. WOW!

Etsy. A new adventure?

I've been contemplating getting my own little Etsy shop to sell some of my photos. I've got a passion for taking pretty little shots with my digital camera (Blake's taken a few good ones as well!), and I'm printing some of them for my own house. Below, a few of the ideas I'd think about selling, plus more seen here and here. What do you think? Should I give it a whirl? It costs money to list things ($0.20 per listing), and 3.5% of a sale goes to Etsy, so your honest opinion would be really helpful! Thanks!

Monday, December 3, 2007

I don't want to wait until after Christmas

to purchase this beautiful new bookshelf {in black-brown}. I already know where we're going to put it {in the basement bedroom}! It should fill nearly one entire wall. Since we're painting the basement, it does make sense to hold off on the bookcase until after the holidays and the painting, but I just want to organize all of our stuff on it! :) Right now, we have two cheap, college-style bookcases that don't hold all of our books. At our old place, we had the bookshelves full, plus a couple of boxes and crates full of books in the closet. We want to keep our closet space open! Anyone want some free bookshelves?

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Updates, guests, and decorating

Blake's Jeep just had a dead battery. We were pretty convinced that was the problem, but were worried that it might have been a starter issue since he had to replace that a couple of years ago. Thank heavens for small towns. A local auto shop guy came out to our house, charged the battery, and gave us his home phone number in case it didn't start the next day. Of course, it didn't start today, so we called him at home and he came out and put in a new battery. How nice!

All the recent time spent in the garage or with the garage door open {scooping snow, ice, and all the other glorious things mother nature dumped on us} has welcomed our first unwelcome house guest. Yes, we have a mouse. I'm paranoid that it's going to get into the house. This is when I wish for a detached garage. Now, I've just got to get that little bugger.

Unpacking is coming along. The entire main floor is practically live-able {outside of the guest bedrooms that no one uses!} We focused on finding and putting up our Christmas decorations yesterday. No need to put that off to last minute in this new place! I have this thing where I like to work on a new, fairly inexpensive {$20 or less}, Christmas project each year. Last year, it was finding a door decoration for our condo. This year, I wanted to put together a table centerpiece. Here's what I came up with {plus a view of our dining and kitchen area}. Speaking of Christmas decorations, I'm absolutely in love with the festive-ness of our fireplace {the word art was a custom gift from our realtor. It was waiting for us, along with a bottle of wine, on our kitchen counter when we walked in on Friday. So thoughtful. I LOVE it!}.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

When it rains, it pours

New house, broken Jeep.

We are slowly making some progress on our new house. We finally have the kitchen unpacked, and my parents came out to help with some stuff last night. I sent Blake out to get some milk this morning, and his Jeep wouldn't start...great.

Details as they develop and pictures to come soon! Here's a preview for now... :)